VODACOM Premier League champions Bantu will grace this year’s third edition of the Alliance Winter Challenge on 29 and 30 July at Setsoto Stadium.
Launched in 2015, the Alliance Winter Challenge is an annual tournament contested by the three teams sponsored by Alliance Insurance, namely, Matlama, Lioli and LCS. They are joined by a fourth team which appears on invitation.
Affectionately known as A Matso Matebele, Bantu will lock horns with defending champions, LCS in the first semifinal while Lioli will clash with Matlama in the second.
Bantu vice president, Molefi Lengosane this week thanked Alliance Insurance for inviting his side to take part in the tournament.
“I run out of words to thank Alliance for the good work they have being doing to improve sport in the country,” Lengosane said on Tuesday.
“It is such an honour for us to participate in this tournament that has been growing at a very impressive rate since its introduction.
“It means a lot to us as we have a busy season ahead, competing in the CAF Champions League so it is important that we begin with good preparations,” Lengosane said, adding they took the tournament seriously.
LCS spokesperson Kofa Rantai concurred with Lengosane, saying, “Alliance have been doing great work and it is also up to us as teams to see that we take such tournaments seriously”.
“Our target is to defend the title because every cup is important and it will boost our confidence ahead of the new season,” Rantai said.
Alliance Sales and Marketing Manager, Limakatso Mokobocho said the tournament was meant to prepare their teams for the new season while also maintaining competitiveness in the domestic league.
“This tournament is meant to give the teams that we sponsor a chance to play each other at a competitive level to fine-tune their preparations for the new season. It is also for them to renew their friendships.
“Since we sponsor three teams, it was then agreed that with their discretion, we invite one team every season to make them four. In the past two years we have invited Liphakoe and Sandawana,” Mokobocho said.
He said the tournament had been well received by the community and teams since its inception.
He said they had introduced the tournament after realising that supporters got bored by the lack of action during the off-season.