Friday, June 28, 2013
MPUMALANGA WILL BE FIRST TO HOST THEIR SANLAM KAY MOTSEPE SCHOOLS CUP PROVINCIAL FINAL
Qhubulwazi High school from the Gert Sibanda region has qualified to compete in the first under-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial final and will be going to Bushbuckridge on 20 July to play in the Mpumalanga provincial finals.
Should they finish first or second there, the next stop is the national finals in Durban in September when the top two sides from each of the nine provinces will be playing for a slice of the R3.4 million on offer.
Qhubulwazi coach, TC Tsotetsi, is thrilled that the side has made it through to the next round. “The boys played brilliantly throughout our qualifiers. They exceeded my expectations. Their spirits are very high and they are already looking forward to playing the provincials,” he said.
This is the fifth time that the school has played in the competition, and the first time they are going to the provincial finals. “Last year we were knocked out at the regional stage. It’s a huge achievement. The school as a whole is proud of us and they are supporting us 100%,” Tsotetsi said. “Our dream is to win some of the prize money so that we can upgrade our school. I also believe we have some exceptional talent this year and we are hoping that at least one will be scouted and join a professional club.”
He explained that over the years he has been developing a defensive system, trying to keep it tight and prevent the opponents from scoring goals. “I always tell the players they need to be mentally prepared in each and every game. Before you outplay opponents physically, you have to outplay them mentally. And that’s what they think of every time they have a match to play,” he said.
Qhubulwazi is a combined school and Tsotetsi has been coaching these boys since they were in primary school. He singles out one player that has grown tremendously over the years, Siyabonga Nxumalo. “He never used to care about soccer or making it to practise but now, even when I’m not present during practise he’s the one who takes up the reigns and becomes the “coach” for the day,” he said.
Siyabonga feels his performance in the competition so far has been good. “I try to play an honest clean game and I’m satisfied with the results. I‘m training hard for our upcoming games so that I can help the team succeed,” he said.
About the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup:
· Named after prominent businessman Patrice Motsepe’s late mother, the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup offers the biggest prize money at school level in Africa (R3.4 million in total).
· The sponsors are: Sanlam, the Motsepe Foundation and the Sanlam Ubuntu-Botho Community Development Trust.
· The primary objective of the tournament is to revive the culture of school football amongst students between the age of 16 and 19 years old.
· The tournament also gives players the opportunity to showcase their skills to soccer scouts with the talented players being recruited into development structures to be nurtured and shaped into professional players.