By FOCUS REPORTER
Nigerian side Apapa Golden Stars will replace compatriots Heartland at the prestigious 2011 Future Champions
Gauteng tournament that will be held from March 28 to April 2, organisers have announced.
Heartland were forced to withdraw from the competition due to unforeseen circumstances, but their replacements will bring an exciting new edge to the
event. Apapa Golden Stars are based in Nigeria’s most populated city, Lagos, and play in the highly-competitive Lagos Junior League.
The Future Champions Gauteng Under-17 tournament is among the most highly-regarded junior competitions on the football calendar and the 2011
event has already confirmed the likes of Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven, Brazilian outfit Atletico Mineiro, Chilean side Universidad Católica,
Russian club Rubin Kazan and Mexicans Pachuca CF.
They will be joined in the draw by South Africa’s Orlando Pirates, Jomo Cosmos, Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns as a total of 12 teams, split
into four groups of three sides, compete in the first round-robin stage.
“We thank Apapa Golden Stars for taking up our invitation at such short notice and we are sure that they will do Nigeria proud at the 2011 Future
Champions Gauteng tournament. Nigerian football has produced some of the best African players down the years and we look forward to seeing what the
new generation of stars have to offer,” said Mr Lebogang Maile, MEC for the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.
Apapa Golden Star’s Chairman, Ayodeji Joseph said “The 2011 Future Champions Gauteng will give our young players a chance to rub shoulders with their
peers from around the world and this invaluable experience will no doubt be a huge help to them as they start out their careers. We are also very proud
to be representing Nigerian football at the tournament and look forward to showing the skill and passion of the Nigerian game.”
The last Future Champions Gauteng competition was held in January 2010 and was won by Chinese side Shandong Luneng, who beat French outfit Paris
Saint-Germain in the final.
For further information, please visit www.future-champions.net