Stellenbosch FC will get their 2023 Premier League Next Generation Cup campaign underway this afternoon. Here’s everything you need to know for the match, including the pre-match thoughts of coach Evangelos Vellios.
An U-21 side representing Stellenbosch FC will defend the Next Gen title they won in England last year when they get their 2023 campaign underway in Mumbai, India with a Group A clash against Bengaluru FC on Wednesday afternoon.
The highly-anticipated match is scheduled to get underway at 12h30 South African time and will be streamed live on the official Premier League YouTube channel, which can be found and watched via the link below.
Speaking ahead of the match, head coach Evangelos Vellios expressed his pride at being invited to take part in the competition once again and for the opportunity to defend the title his side won following a 7-2 victory over Leicester City last year.
“For us as a team, it is such a privilege for us to be here in India and playing in the Premier League Next Generation tournament again,” Vellios said ahead of the match.
“We really want to honour the competition for inviting us again by putting on a great performance. We’re going to take it one game at a time, starting with Bengaluru FC who are a team we actually faced last time around in a friendly before the tournament.
“They’re a nice group of players and a well-organised and well-coached team, so it’s going to be an interesting game, especially considering that it is our first game of the group stage and that we need to adapt to the conditions, to the heat, and the new environment.
“We’re really looking forward to the game and I think today will be more of a test of character for our boys in overcoming the jet lag and the long trip, the heat. Our desire to go out there and put in a good performance is going to be the most important thing.
“If we approach the game and the tournament with the right mentality, respect the opponents, and have that desire to fight for each other and dig deep, I think we can make not only Stellenbosch FC and our local community, but the whole of South Africa very proud.”
An 18-man squad has traveled with Stellenbosch FC for the tournament, including the likes of Antonio van Wyk, Kyle Jurgens, Shaakir Ahmed, Roy-Keane Avontuur, and Lebohang Nthene, all of whom were part of last year’s title-winning group.
The SFC squad taking part in the 2023 Next Gen tournament:
Dejean Ah Shene; Lebohang Nthene, Nande Jojwana, Prince Annor, Simthandile Sishi, Kyle Jurgens, Tylon Smith, Zenden Bell, Vuyolwethu Andrieas, Azola Jakalashe, Ethan Felix, Kyle Bailey, Jaylen Trent, Daylin Meyer, Shaun Morgan, Roy-Keane Avontuur, Shaakir Ahmed & Antonio van Wyk.