Tuesday, March 4, 2014
2013 North West Provincial Winners Register for 2014 Danone Nations Cup
DP Kgotleng Primary School, in Mmbatho in the Ngaka Modiri Molema region of North West Province, emerged as the 2013 under-12 Danone Nations Cup provincial winners and is one of the first schools to have registered for 2014.
According to team manager and coach, Isaac Choeu, they have registered for the 2014 tournament and training has begun. “We train twice a week for now but as soon the competition starts we will increase our training days,” he said. “We have not played any games against other schools yet, but that will happen in a couple of weeks’ time.”
DP Kgotleng is going into the tournament with an entirely new team as all of the 2013 players have moved on, but Choeu says they believe in the new team and are working very hard at training. “I cannot say yet how the team will perform as it is still early days, but I can say that there are some areas we need to improve. What helps is that the team is energised and eager, which is a good start. Knowing that the winning team will go to Brazil for the World Finals this year is a great motivating factor for the kids.”
This year is the first year that Choeu will be coaching the team and the challenge, he says, is the fact that they are not disciplined in terms of honouring training time. “I’m sure they will soon adapt to the demands of being in a soccer team. I want them to have fun and remember what I have taught them and implement that on the field when they play,” he said. “I also tell them that soccer can be a career path if they are dedicated and love soccer. Every professional soccer players in the PSL started where they are now and they can also reach the same level if they have a passion and are devoted to the game.”
Choeu believes that every team is different and they all play differently, but he thinks they can make the national finals again, and this time he wants the team to win the Danone Nations Cup national title and go on to compete in the World Finals in Brazil later this year. “However, just being part of the tournament is a highlight on its own,” he says. “When the boys leave school they will always remember participating in the tournament as one of the highlights of their primary school life.”
Winning the North West provincial finals last year, after participating in the tournament since its inception, was great for the school. “Those players are proud of the fact that they were the first team in the school to win the provincial title,” Choeu said. He says the school has set the bar high and every school in the region is out to beat them. It’s not going to be easy to retain the trophy, they are not expecting an easy ride.