Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Registrations for the 2014 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup in the Eastern Cape going well

Emmanuel Makiti, team manager and coach of Executive Academy School in the Eastern Cape believes in early preparation. So, his school’s entry for the 2014 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup competition is in, and they are already hard at work ahead of the opening matches in the tournament.

Executive Academy won R100 000 as the 2013 Eastern Cape provincial champions, and they finished 11th at the national finals last year.  The plan is to win the provincial finals again this year finish higher on the log at the national finals.

Preparations started last year for Makiti, whose first task was to get a SAFA level 1 coaching qualification and he hopes the skills he acquired will filter down and assist the players. “After last year’s national finals I realised I needed a qualification if the school was to progress in this tournament, so I asked the school principal, who assisted me financially to do the course.”  The key learnings from the course, Makiti said, are how to identify a player and select a team; how to strategise when your team is losing a game and the importance of motivating your team.

Makiti’s identification process started a week after school started in January with 40 hopefuls attending trials at the school.  He selected the top 25 players who were put through a 2-week rigorous training session. They were then put into game situations and from there a squad of 17 players was chosen. “This method works for me as it gives me enough time to get to know  players, their strengths and their weaknesses and gives them time to improve,” Makiti said.

There are six players from the 2013 team back again and, according to Makiti, they are hungry to do better this year. “I believe the current team is  better than last year’s,” Makiti said. “Last year I didn’t have enough strikers, whereas this year I do – as well as good midfielders and defenders.  The pressure is also on me to coach them correctly and teach them the basics, but I am better prepared than last year,” said Makiti.

At the moment, the team is playing friendly games every weekend against schools from their surrounding area, and in this way they are getting used to playing as a team and learning to improve their communications on the field.  “I have also entered the team into a local Mbombela promotion league,” Makiti said. “This helps the team to improve their skills and they also get to see how other teams play in the league which is more challenging than playing against a school.”

Makiti believes that Sanlam and the Motsepe Foundation are doing a fantastic job in soccer development as these are the future Bafana Bafana players. “I make a point of teaching the boys about what Sanlam does as it is important to give back to our sponsors. I also believe that Sanlam is an ideal sponsor at this level as every under-19 youngsters needs to understand financial literacy.”


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.

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