Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Monamodi Primary School from the Free State have registered for the 2014 Danone Nations Cup
Monamodi Primary School of Brandfort were the 2013 Free State provincial champions in the under-12 Danone Nations soccer Cup and, according to team manager, Sam Sigade, the boys really enjoy participating in this tournament and they look forward to it. This year is no different, so they have already registered for the 2014 tournament and can’t wait for the games to start.
They will be fielding a virtually new team this year – they only have 2 players left from last year’s team - so training had to start early because they wanted to identify the team’s weakness and strengths early on.
According to Sam Sigade, the team manager, the team is really good when it comes to defence, but it’s battling to score goals. “They create chances to score but their execution is lacking, so for the next few weeks we need to tackle that problem,” he said.
Sigade believes this team is capable of going to the national finals again, but there is plenty of hard work to do. “We are still in the early stages of the tournament and I can already see that the team is capable of getting to the national finals again. “They are young and disciplined, they respect training sessions and the coach. We train 6 days a week, including Saturday mornings, if we don’t have a match,” he said.
Sigade says getting the team to think positively is not easy. “Dealing with under-12s is not easy; they are still young and emotional. Every day after training we have a talk and I always tell them how proud I am of them, I thank them for making it on time for training,” he said. “In that way the boys feel special, appreciated and valued.”
Vuyo Nomatshe, will coach the team again and they have brought in an assistant coach, Zolile Mompe, who will work with Sigade. In terms of coaching style, Sigade points out that these boys are still young so coaching is more difficult than coaching under-16 and under-19. “I have learnt over the years that when you’re dealing with young minds you need to be very patient,” he said. “Whatever tricks or tactics we teach, we do it patiently and slowly so that they can learn. Further, we are dealing with kids that are different physically and mentally. But we try our best to get to know each and every kid personally so that we know what they struggle with and how we can help them. We also make a point of getting to know their parents,” Sigade said.
The highlight last year was definitely representing Free State in the national finals. “It’s a huge honour to represent your province in such a big tournament and we are hoping that this year we will represent South Africa in the world finals. But it will be their first time in this tournament and this could cause a bit of nerves. To help with this we will get them to play in as many practice games as possible to get them used to competing,” Sigade said.