Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Nkanini Secondary School of Ermelo, Mpumalanga, won the Piet Retief Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Regional final this past week.  The school finished third in the cluster level tournament last week, but was declared the winner after it was found that the first and second-placed schools had contravened the tournament rules.

So, Nkanini will be representing the Piet Retief region at the Mpumalanage Provincial finals and the message has gone out to all participating schools that irregularities will not be tolerated. 

Nkanini team manager, Thabiso Ndlovu has been at the helm for two years, and this is the school’s third year in the competition. “This is the first time we will be playing at provincial level and I am very proud of the boys,” Ndlovu said. He explains that they have been training hard. “We sometimes invite teams come help with our training so that they can help us with aspects like muscle-toning and strength building for the boys. We have also brought in a shooter so we can train our goalkeeper.”

Available time is one of their biggest challenges,” Ndlovu said. “We have invited the principal to most of our matches and he has been working out a plan to give us more time to train.  Now that we are in the provincial finals he is keener to give us more practise time. He has even taken it upon himself to provide transport and food for our upcoming games.”

Ndlovu says he always tries to set an example for the boys by adopting a winning attitude. “I remind them of the first prize at stake – R1 million for the school. I also tell them that they mustn’t let conditions at home or in their lives in general impact on their performance on the field. I always remind them how talented they are. Our winning formula is to make sure that we focus on one goal and objective - that is to win our matches and to grow from the ones we didn’t win.”

Ndlovu singles out striker Siyabonga Hlatswayo as one of his key players. “This boy only recently started playing for the team and he is already our top goal scorer. He is very physical and his ball control is very good. Even when he is surrounded by players from the opposing team he easily manoeuvre his way around them,” Ndlovu said.

Goalkeeper Mxolisi Andries Nkambule is another player to watch. “He knows his way around the 18 yard area,” Ndlovu said. “This boy has been playing for the school since last year and he is disciplined and very aware of what happens around him.”
As far as the achievements of past pupils are concerned, Ndlovu explains that Siyabonga Hlatswayo’s brother, Sbusiso Hlatswayo,  played for the school in the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup  and is now goalkeeper for Bataung FC in Mpumalanga.

Mpumalanga Piet Retief Cluster Results:
Nkanini 2 Carolina 0, Lake Chrissie 1 Ndlela 2, Lindile 4 Kwadela 1, Ndlela 4 Nkanini 1.
Final: Lindile 1 Ndlela 0.
Lindile and Ndlela were both disqualified for infringing with the rules of the tournament
Nkanini Secondary School finished in third position and was awarded the title.

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