Thursday, August 1, 2013
New Coach, with Brazilian training, puts Klaas Mothapo High School in contention to win Limpopo Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Provincial Finals
Klaas Mothapo High School from Ga-Mothapo Village near Polokwane in the Capricorn Region will be playing in the Limpopo Provincial finals of the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup competition at the Giyani Stadium in Giyani on 10 August. Games start at 9am with the final at 3pm. Their coach, Jerry Ramohlale, has been with the team for just four months and has worked wonders in that time, transforming them from no-hopers to provincial contenders. The school has been playing in the competition since 2010 but has never progressed beyond the circuit stages before, and the principal thought it was time they won some of the prize money.
Ramohlale comes with a wealth of experience. While studying education at the University of the North, he was granted a scholarship, by the then Head of Coaching at the Limpopo University, Ted Dimitru, to study sports science and technology in Brazil, and was there for 4 years. “It was a great experience,” he said, “I learnt a great deal about the physiology of sport, but I was taught the Brazilian coaching style which is different to what is needed at home. I have combined them both, which, I am hoping, will be what it takes to get the school to win the provincial finals and go on to play in the National Finals for the first time.”
But this is not the first time Ramohlale has coached at the school. “In our final year in Brazil (2003), all the foreign students had to go back to their home country and select a school, in an underprivileged area, and put a case study together and I chose Klaas Mothaop. In that year we won a SASFA U-16 tournament and went on to represent the country at the 18th ISF World Schools Football Championships in Brazil.”
A number of the 2003 players have gone on to play for PSL Clubs: Tlou Molekwane - Bidvest Wits; Hlompho Kekana - Sundowns; Ramahlwe Mphahlele - Sundowns; Lehlohonolo Masalesa - Orlando Pirates; Michael Mosime - Polokwane City and Phaladi Kobola – Tuks.
Before coaching at Klaas Mothapo, Ramohlale started the Tshiamo Sports Academy in the same village.
Ramohlale was a formidable player himself. While studying he was selected as goalkeeper for the then South African Tertiary Institutions (SATISHU). “We went to represent the country in various tournaments and we travelled to places like Italy, Holland, Brazil and Japan.”
The Klaas Mothapo team trains 7 days a week , with matches on the weekends. They even had a practice game against Mamelodi Sundowns and, although they were beaten, Ramohlale believes it will help them gain confidence when playing against boys their age.
As a coach, he believes in emphasising on the strengths and ability a player has-so he has designed methods that will help all players to focus on their abilities in order to improve at that.
“We have no key players. They all have talent but it still needs to be developed. I can only speak of individuals once they have been developed and I can see how they have grown.
“I don’t have a Messi, Maradonna or even Pele in the team so we work with what we have,” he said.
Should the school win the provincial final they will be using the money to renovate their computer centre and to build a sports complex that will develop learners and not only focus on soccer but other sports like tennis and netball too.
Other Schools playing:
· Makikela High School (Selwane Village) Palaborwa Region
· Benny’s Sports Development Academy (Senthumule) Makhado Region
· Sk Tijiane High School (Moutse East) Region
· Mantutule High School (Mogalakwena) Mapela Region
About the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup:
· The tournament is run under the auspices of the South Africa Football Association (SASFA)
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.