No sooner has one cup competition been put to bed than thoughts turn to another as the draw for the first round of the Telkom Knockout takes place today at 12h00
Ajax Cape Town claimed the first piece of silverware on offer this season when they stunned Kaizer Chiefs in the final of the MTN8 in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, but can immediately turn their attention to making it back-to-back wins when they learn their first round opponents in the Telkom Knockout.
Ajax will be among the eight seeded clubs in the 16-team draw for a competition that is only open to Premier Soccer League sides.
The top eight league finishers from the 2014/15 season cannot be drawn against one-another, and will play the six side in the lower half of the table who avoided relegation, as well as the two newly-promoted sides.
That means the seeded teams will be Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Bidvest Wits, Orlando Pirates, Ajax, SuperSport United, Bloemfontein Celtic and Maritzburg United.
They will be paired off against one of Free State Stars, Mpumalanga Black Aces, Platinum Stars, Polokwane City, University of Pretoria, Chippa United, Lamontville Golden Arrows or Jomo Cosmos.
Being seeded does not, however, ensure homeground advantage. The draw procedure sees a seeded and unseeded team placed together in a pot, with the side that is drawn out first playing at home.
SuperSport United are the defending champions in the competition after their thrilling 3-2 victory over Platinum Stars in last year’s final, a game considered among the best cup finals in South African football history.
Chiefs have been by far the most successful club in the tournament’s history, winning 13 of their 16 finals to date. They have appeared in almost half of the 33 finals played.
The next most successful sides are Sundowns, Ajax, Wits, Cosmos, Platinum Stars and Umtata Bush Bucks, who each have two wins.
The Last 16 matches this season will be played between September 30 and October 4, with the quarterfinals to be played on the weekend of October 24-25.
The semifinals will be played on November 7-8, with the final scheduled for December 16.