Saturday, July 13, 2013
Eric Nxumalo High School qualifies for Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Mpumalanga Provincial Finals
After three years of trying, Eric Nxumalo Secondary School from the Bohlabela Region in Mpumalanga is through to the provincial finals of the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup.
“For the past three years we have been eliminated at the regional stage of the competition,” said coach, Simango Canon. “This is a huge achievement for the school. We are looking forward to competing and we hope that we continue winning,” he said.
Canon believes tournaments like the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup are essential. “Apart from the huge money that can be won to help with the upgrading of schools, the kids come from rural areas and chances like these give them exposure to scouts from big leagues, That’s why I tell them that every game they play their need to excel because they never know who might be watching them,” he said.
Team captain, Manthabele Fumani’s love of the game started at 5 years old when he would kick a ball around the dusty streets of Bohlabela. “We used to play just to pass the time, we didn’t take it seriously. My father used to come and play with us and teach us how to tackle and he taught us how to do shibobo’s, show me your number and many more tricks. He was my mentor in everything, my academics, soccer and with personal problems, but sadly he died a few years ago.”
Fumani realises the importance of doing well academically. “I make sure that school work comes first and soccer second. It’s sometimes hard to focus on two things that mean the world to you, but I’m trying to balance the two. Especially now that I’m in Grade 12 I need to focus my attention into my school work.”
As far as the future is concerned, he dreams of a successful career as a professional player. Then he would like to focus on building his community. “For instance I would love to build a community library and multi-purpose centre in the rural village where I live.”
The team he would love to play for is Orlando Pirates. “I’m their number 1 supporter and I hope that I can play for them one day,” 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.