Known as the Wilderness veteran’s football tournament due to its long association with the Wilderness/George area, South Africa, this tournament was established by the Wilderness Karos Protea Hotel which is located in the Wilderness along the Garden route. The purpose of the tournament was to bring together veteran football teams from both Cape Town and Port Elizabeth to a central point on the Garden route to compete in an annual tournament.
In 2004 SA Sports Tours took over this event with a vision of transforming it from a low key regional kick about into a top quality international football tournament which would attract entries from veteran teams based all around the country and overseas. An event where older players could come and play competitively on excellent surfaces making use of quality match balls. Further to this the introduction of ball boys, the selection of an All Stars side and the addition of various prizes has seen the tournament grow in popularity to the point where apart from the Cape and PE sides it currently attracts a number of teams from as far afield as Johannesburg and Durban.
The format allows for 12 teams to compete in two groups of 6 with cross group playoffs and a final. Teams arrive on the Friday and play two games under lights that night with the balance of their round robin fixtures being played over the following day (Saturday). Games are shortened to 15 minutes a half and points are awarded as follows:
- 1 for scoreless draw
- 2 for a goal draw
- 3 for win
- Bonus points for goals scored.
The top two sides in each group qualify for the semifinals and the two winners meet in a final. A floating trophy is awarded to the winners together with gold medals while the losing finalists receive silver medals. Prizes are awarded to the top goal scorer and the player of the tournament and selectors are on hand to choose the All Star team which is considered to be the best performing eleven players over the duration of the weekend. Players need to be turning 40 years or older during the year of the tournament while each team is allowed to register 3 over 35 year old players.
Apart from the amateur players who continue to enjoy playing well into their fifties and beyond a number of ex professional players with long distinguished careers have also graced this event. Players such as Mark Williams (Bafana), Pat van den Howe (Everton, Spurs), George van der Burgh (Ajax CT), Carlos das Neves (Hellenic), John Goodwin (Santos) & Gavin lane (Pirates).
This is a wonderful tournament that brings people of all cultures together with the simple aim of playing football for the fun of it. Players come from all walks of life, attorneys, doctors, business owners and factory workers. Looking ahead, our aim is to provide an event that players will continue to look forward to with great anticipation year after year. An event which excites and motivates the individual to keep playing and to stay fit.
We provide custom tours to schools and clubs looking to tour Soutrh Africa with eithersports or cultural groups and handle all the travel arrangements required directly fromSouth Africa. SA Sports Tours is not only SATSA bonded but can offer you 10+ years’ experience in customized group and sports tour travel.
With years of experience, we are aware of the time, logistics and the pressures that accompany international group travel. As a result our services include customized itineraries to suit your schools (or clubs) specific requirements in terms of group size, accommodation, transport, meals, excursions, training sessions and the strength of the opposition for the tour match fixtures. We also assist with flights, visa applications and insurance needs to make your trip as hassle free as possible.
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Tagged: Football Tournament