Thursday, May 29, 2014
Caley Junior Secondary School from Butterworth in the Amathole District, are the Eastern Cape provincial champions in the under-12 Danone Nations Cup soccer competition and they will be travelling to Gauteng on the 28th June to represent their province in the national finals. The prize for the ultimate winner is a trip to Brazil to play against 31 other countries in the Danone Nations Cup world finals.
Caley beat Hombakzai Primary School from the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, 4 – 3 on penalties in the provincial final after the sides were goalless at the end of the game.
This is just the third time that school has entered the competition. In 2012 Caley were knocked out in the provincial finals and last year they did not make it past the regional stage.
According to coach, Malibongwe Masekwana this is what the school has been waiting for since 2012. “There is no other competition at this age group like the Danone Nations Cup,” he said. “Our kids are from very poor areas and therefore don’t get the opportunity to experience competitive football and as an added bonus to travel outside their home town. Now they are off to Gauteng to compete in the national finals, an opportunity that the kids need to broaden their minds and get them to understand that there is a whole wide world out there filled with opportunities. I have heard how kids have changed from their experiences in this competition.”
Masekwana also believes the Danone Nations Cup is a very good example of how hard work and good preparation pays off. “We have been training hard as well as practicing penalty shoot out’s, which has helped build confidence amongst the players. We are well equipped to tackle the national final pressure.”
A key player for the team is goal keeper, Chulumanga Sanda and defender, Nkosikho Ndandani.
“Chulumanga was impressive, quick with his eyes and that’s why we never conceded a goal in the provincial finals,” Masekwana said. “And Nkosikho held his position well on the field and never allowed the opposition to counter attack, he managed the backline very well.”
Masekwana has a level 1 coaching qualification and has attended a few coaching clinics. “Having a qualification is ideal and it gives us an upper advantage over coaches that don’t have. Soccer is a scientific sport and one needs to be better equipped when it comes to teaching a player the basics of defending and attacking,” he said. “It also depends on your players. If they understand your philosophy then it makes your job as a coach much easier.”
He has no illusions about the task that lies ahead at the national finals. “Every province will be fighting very hard to be number one,” he said. “We are not putting any pressure on the boys. They must play with dignity and if we don’t make it that is fine, we have next year to prepare for.”
Mntonintshi 2 vs. Sterkspruit 0
Caley 0 (3) vs. Usenathi 0 (2)
Lukholo 2 vs Bhongweni 0
Mntonintshi 0 (3) vs. Caley 0 (4)
Sterkspruit 0 vs Usenathi 2
Bhongwen 0 (9) vs Hombakazi 0 (8)
Usenathi 0 (2) vs. Mntonintshi 0 (1)
Caley 2 vs Sterkspruit 0
Hombakazi 1vs Lukholo 0
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
The under-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe School Cup soccer competition is well under way, with the first of the district level playoffs due to start soon. This year the Department of Education has come on board which has boosted the registration numbers to record levels. And with R3.4 million on offer in prize money, the competition is heating up as schools strive to win a slice of the pie to use to enhance their school to benefit, not only the learners, but the community at large.
Games are currently being played at cluster level, progressing through to the district and regional levels with the provincial finals kicking off in August.
Among the schools busy with cluster matches at the moment is Lesedi Secondary School of the Gauteng North, Cullinan Cluster.
Their coach, Vincent Mashego is a former sports journalist who has returned to teaching because he wants to make a difference in the lives of his students. “I went back to teaching because it’s my passion and seeing my students succeed is rewarding for me. I want to nurture these young boys, I teach them soccer and career skills and mentor them because I have been involved in sports, particularly in soccer, and I have seen how many young players destroy their careers,” he said.
The challenge in coaching young players, Mashego said, is that they don’t know the basics of the game. “My challenge in coming back to teaching soccer is that I assumed that the players are in the first team so they would know everything. But to my surprise most players don’t know the basics of soccer. So, every year we start with the basics. I don’t want to end up teaching them basics when we are in the middle of a tournament.”
It’s early days in the competition – Lesedi has only played 2 games so far – but Mashego is determined to go far with this team. “We have never moved further than the cluster games in this tournament before, but this team is fired up and ready to make an impact on this tournament this year.”
The team is made up of a mix of new and old players and Mashego believes the new players will rise to the occasion and reach the expected level in the tournament. “This year we want to reach the provincial final. We are not in a hurry to win this tournament yet, we are still developing the team and familiarising ourselves with the competition and gaining the experience. The boys must just focus on training and developing their mental attitudes and individual games.”
The coach understands that academy sides are starting to dominate the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup. “The academies have qualified coaches, and top of the range exercise equipment but that does not determine how great a player can be on the field. Ordinary schools have the same chance of winning this tournament as the academies do. They must just be well prepared, determined and willing to go the extra mile in training.”
Friday, May 23, 2014
Witbank’s Johannes Kananda Primary School is the new Mpumalanga Danone Nations Cup provincial champion. They earned the title after defeating 2013 national champions, Daniye Primary School, 2 – 0 in the final that took place at the Mhluzi Stadium in Middleburg this past weekend.
J Kananda will now join eight other provincial winners at the national finals taking place at the Reiger Park Stadium in Boksburg on 28 June, where coach, Kabu Thebyane is hoping that his school will repeat what Daniye did last year and win the trip to represent South Africa at the World Finals. This year the trip is to Brazil later this year.
“We prepared long enough for the provincials and winning was our first goal and now for the finals,” Thebyane said. “The team was called up at school assembly on Monday and they enjoyed the recognition they received, but now it’s back to hard work.”
“Winning the provincial title is a fantastic achievement for my youngsters, but we still need to prove ourselves in Gauteng against the eight other provinces. We know the competition will be tough, but I believe in my team and what’s important is that they also believe in themselves too.”
Thebyane said he is going to call on a few experienced coaches that he knows to help with their preparations. He will also arrange practice matches against club teams. “In the past I have organised games against older teams and they have proven to me that they can play against any team,” he said. “We don’t know what to expect in Gauteng so that’s why I have to cover all bases.”
Siphesihle Masina, an 11 year-old midfielder, is one of the team’s key players. Siphesihle’s love for the game began by watching matches on TV and playing with his friends in the street. “I taught myself how to play and last year I attended trails at the school and the coach chose me to be part of the team and he said that he saw potential in me,” he said.
“It’s my first time competing in this tournament and I thought that the games went very well and I got an opportunity to interact with other teams even though I was intimidated at first.” Siphesihle describes the goal he scored against Daniye in the provincial final as exciting. “Scoring that goal made me realise that I should not be intimidated by them, I can play soccer as well as they can,” he said.
“We came into the provincial finals with a goal and we made sure that we achieved that goal, we saw last year’s winners Daniye in newspapers and radio stations were talking about them, We also want to experience that,” said young Siphesihle.
“Our coach Mr Thebyane told us that the competition is going to be extremely tough going forward. I am nervous because I don’t know what to expect in Gauteng, but I told myself that I will play like I have been playing and put more effort in training. My teammates and I are going to do our best to make sure that we win the nationals.”
Nkangala District - Kananda Primary
Bohlabela District - Daniye Primary
Ehlanzeni District - Tenteleni Primary
Gert Sibande District - Nqobile Primary
Daniye 1 (2) vs. J Kananda 1 (3)
Nqobile 1 vs. Tenteleni 0
Nqobile 0 (3) vs. Daniye 0 (1)
J Kananda 0 vs. Tenteleni 2
Tenteleni 0 vs. Daniye 1
J Kananda 1 vs. Nqobile 0
Daniye 0 vs. J Kananda 2
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The Eastern Cape under-12 Danone Nations Cup provincial finals take place on Saturday 24th May at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in East London, and among the seven contenders vying for a place in the national finals of the competition, will be Lukholo Junior Secondary School from Mbizana, in the Alfred Nzo District.
This is the second time that the school is playing in the tournament and their coach, Zwelethu Mdedelwa, puts their success so far down to hard work, good preparation and believing in your dreams. “We have trained hard and that is what got us through,” He said. “I noticed the teams we competed against were not as well organised as we are.”
The team has played 12 games so far this season, and won all of them. Some of those victories were in penalty shootouts, but Mdedelwa says a win is a win and they have given the boys some good practice as penalties might decide some of the games at the provincial finals.
“The boys are eager and determined to win the Eastern Cape title this year, but I caution them that the competition at provincial level is a different story and we will be up against the best teams in our province,” Mdedelwa said.
“Last year was the first time we participated in the tournament and we managed to get to the provincial finals, but were knocked out in the final game by Nkumzimbini JSS, who went on to represent the Eastern Cape at the national finals. We were happy as it was our first time, and the boys played well.”
Lukholo will be fielding a completely new team this year as there is no-one back from last year. “We have a good team, but we need to improve on our passing skills, so that is the area we have been focusing on during the build up to the provincial finals,” Mdedelwa said.
The coach said the entire team has been responsible for them getting this far in the competition, but if he were to single out an individual, it would be the captain and left back, Siyabonga Zulu.
“He is alert and sharp at all times and has the ability to read his opponents and make the necessary moves. He has been an integral part of the team. I believe he should go into an academy next year to capitalise on his talents and not get lost in the clutter,” Mdedelwa said.
The team is training every day at the moment and they are asking the coach to extend the practices for an hour each day. “This shows their determination and passion and it’s good that they are showing initiative but training every day can also be counter-productive so I insist they take a day off once a week for recuperation.”
The possibility of a trip to Brazil to play in the Danone Nations Cup World Finals is a huge motivator for the boys, Mdedelwa said. “But I tell them that getting the ball into the back of the net is what will get them there.”
The national finals of the competition will take place at Reiger Park on Saturday, 28 June where the team that will represent South Africa at the World Finals in Brazil later this year will be determined.
Mntonintshi Senior PS
Sterkspruit Combined School
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
The Gauteng inter-district playoff of the under-12 Danone Nations Cup will take place on 28th and 29th May and two Pretoria schools - Lotus Primary School in the Tshwane West District and Northridge Primary School in Tshwane North – have emerged as hot contenders.
Three years ago, when Lotus Primary played in their first Danone Nations Cup, they realised that the competition was tough and if they wanted to get somewhere in the tournament they would have to start preparing much earlier. Fast forward to 2014, the then 8 and 9 year olds are now 11 and 12 and, according to their coach, Ernest Bennett, they have the confidence, experience and are equipped to deal with the high level of competition in the tournament.
“The boys are strong in their passes, footwork and their speed has improved tremendously, I believe this is the year that we are going to represent Gauteng at the nationals,” he said.
Bennett doesn’t think his players are intimidated by the opposition. “All the boys play for local teams, some of them in the under-13 leagues, so they are physically and mentally fit, they have a clear and better understanding of the game, We played 6 school in the cluster games and won all, the boys are hungry and determined to win this tournament this year .”
Bennett describes his coaching style as restrained. “I refuse to shout at players while they are playing. I only talk to them during half time and tell them what they should and shouldn’t be doing. We are dealing with young minds, they need to be free with you and not be scared to voice their opinions.”
Themba Skhosana, a left wing, is the key player in the team. “He is tricky and uses the ball effectively, he was the man of the match on Saturday when we played our district qualifier games,” Bennett said. “He is a quality player and always gives his best in every game; you should definitely be on the lookout for him.”
Northridge Primary School coach, Noel Nquku, also believes his team has a good chance of going further in the competition.
This is just the second time the school has played in the tournament and Nquku said they used last year to see what it was all about, this time he thinks they can go much further. “This year we are coming into the tournament with a better understanding of the competition and we are better prepared and are ready for the challenge,” he said.
All of last year’s players are back in the squad, so they are familiar with the tournament, they have gained the experience and are confident that this year they will take the title, said Nquku. “Our performance has improved from last year, the players are more vigilant and their passing skills are better,” Nquku said.
The team is playing in a local schools league in preparation and Nquku said they are using that to strategise and to decide on formations.
“The boys are motivated by the idea of going to Brazil if they win the national title and they always have that at the back of their minds every time they play a game in this tournament.”
The team’s captain, midfielder Katlego Molase, left wing Lebohang Maseko and right wing Brilliance Mokekwa are the players Nquku will be looking to produce the goods for the team in the regional finals. “They make a dynamite team and have proved to be the best,” he said
The Gauteng provincial finals will take place at Reiger Park, Boksburg, on 14 June.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Kgetleng Primary School from Swartruggens in the Ngaka Modiri Molema district, have booked their place in next month’s Danone Nations Cup national finals by winning the North West provincial title of the competition.
They beat Agisanang Primary School in the final, played at the Ikageng Stadium in Potchefstroom last weekend and will be competing in Boksburg against the other eight provincial champions for the national title and, with it, a trip to Brazil to play in the Danone Nations Cup world finals.
After years of competing in the tournament, this is the first time they have reached the nationals, said an excited team manager, Benjamin Ngcuka. “2014 is definitely our year,” he said. “We have waited a long time for this win and the school and the team are excited and have not stopped celebrating since Saturday. After we got back from the game, we paraded around the neighbourhood informing the community that we won the provincial final and we will be representing North West in Gauteng and they joined in and celebrated with us.”
Ngcuka said that the provincial finals were tough, but the team enjoyed themselves. “We played well as a team, but we do need to work on individual skills,” he said. “Some of the boys waste balls and they lack the finishing touch. I will have one-on-one training sessions ahead of the national finals to remedy this.”
Of excitement to the boys was the fact that a member of the North West Bokamoso Youth Soccer Academy attended the provincial finals and they are hoping that some might be scouted to join up with them. “Some of our boys have already attended trials for the local PSL club, Platinum Stars, and having more scouts at this tournament gives the boys a second chance,” said Ngcuka.
“But the main thing is that the boys develop a love of the sport as with this comes passion and the drive to take the sport to greater heights,” Ngcuka said. “We want to see them playing for PSL teams or even the national team one day and are doing everything in our powers to ensure that they are successful.”
Looking ahead to the national finals, Ngcuka said they are going to play as many friendly games as possible, but admits you can never be fully prepared for any tournament. “Our focus will be on ball skills, tackling and scoring techniques. That’s were our team’s downfall lies most of the time, so tackling those issue before is crucial for the team. “
The mental side is also important and Ngcuka said he tells the players not to underestimate their own soccer skills and capabilities, just because a school is from Gauteng it does not mean that they are better than the rest. “All they need to do is play like they have been playing throughout the tournament and don’t take into account the province the school comes from,” he said.
Kgetleng PS 0 vs Manamolela PS 0 (Manamolela won on penalties).
Mphe Batho PS 0 vs Agisanang PS 0 (Mphe Batho won on penalties).
Mphe Batho PS 0 vs Kgetleng PS 1
Manamolela PS 0 vs Agisanang PS 1
Agisanang PS 0 vs Kgetleng PS 2
Manamolela PS 2 vs Mphe Batho PS 0
Kgetleng PS 1 vs Agisanang PS 0
Schools that have qualified for the national finals to date are:
Roodepan Primary (Northern Cape)
Siphumelele Primary (KZN)
Credo Primary (Free State)
Rev MP Malatjie Primary (Limpopo)
Kgetleng Primary (North West)
The next provincial final will take place at the Mhluzi Stadium, Middleburg on 17 May.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Thomas Moswane and Lota Kekana, the under-12 soccer coaches at Iphutheng Primary School in Alexandra, are hard at work preparing their team to play in the district finals of the Danone Nations Cup tournament, which take place on 19th May.
They took time out last weekend to attend a one-day Powerade Coaching Clinic run by the Dutch Football Association in Pretoria and, head coach, Kekana said the lessons learnt were valuable and will help him train for next week’s games. “I also found the Dutch football philosophy in training youngster interesting. What is key is to keep it simple, you need repetition and very importantly, every training drill must produce a result, even if there is a flat line at the back and no goal posts. It’s important to instill a winning philosophy into the kids at an early age,” he said.
Kekana said they have played 8 cluster games to date and had won them all. The school was the runner up at last year’s provincial finals and they aim to go one better this time around.
“We have a better team this year,” he said, “I also have 2 exceptional players in left wing Tebatso Sekoaleng and striker Josef Maphuru. They both play for a local club which gives them a huge advantage over the rest of the team. They know how to create space and are able to anticipate. They have been instrumental in the school’s success in the Danone Nations Cup so far.”
Chess coach and soccer assistant coach, Moswane, explained that education is the main focus in the school. “Last year approximately 15 of our students received bursaries to different high schools and four went to the Leap Science School.”
“We are very proud of the students. We are a no-fees school and the players do not even have their own boots and have to borrow from friends and other teams in the area,” said Moswane, who believes that sport is very important. “It keeps kids healthy and physically fit and heals the mind. Many have endured a lot of suffering and sport helps to clear the mind and gives pure enjoyment,” he said.
Maphuru explains his training technique. “Soccer is a team sport so I encourage the players to make friends as they need to rely on each other in a game situation and it is helpful if they are friends. I also say they need to be free and see me as a member of the team and not their coach, they need to feel free to play their best.”
The Danone Nations Cup Provincial Finals will take place at WJ Clements Stadium, Reiger Park on 14 June.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Winning a slice of the R3.4 million on offer in the under-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup soccer tournament has eluded Brebner High School from Bloemfontein’s Motheo District over the years. This year, with a more experienced team, they are hoping the status will change, but they will have to beat the current Free State champions, HTS Louis Botha first.
“So far so good,” said coach, Lee-Sheldon Bateman. “We have won all our cluster games to date, and we are looking forward to squaring up, once again, against our rival, HTS Louis Botha.”
HTS Louis Botha has an advantage over Brebner, Bateman believes, because their scouts travel all over the country to look for talent. “We work with students that come to study at the school and do not have the option of choosing from a pool of academy players,” he said.
“Louis Botha will always be our rival school and I think that my team gets a bit intimidated because they are an academy. However, when it comes to football skills, technical and tactically we can match up against them on any given day,” said Bateman.
The 2014 Brebner team is an experienced one. Bateman explains that last year he had younger players in the team, and many of them are still there. “That works for us because they now have the experience of participating in this tournament so they know what to expect. They also work hard, are passionate and have the mental ability to play soccer.”
The team has played two friendlies against club sides in preparation for the regional finals, and have won them both. “The players are showing that they really want to win this year,” Bateman said.
The coach believes he has a well-balanced team and they are all impressive in their own right. He does, however, single out one player, midfielder Thato Moloi, who has so much natural talent that he can’t fault him on anything. “He is PSL material, he has a great future in soccer that’s if he maintains who he is and stays true to his passion and talent,” he said.
Bateman has a solid background in the game. He has been coaching since 2004, after playing for Bloemfontein Celtic from 2001 to 2003. He has a Level 1 qualification and has attended a number of coaching courses over the years.
Bateman appreciates the work that Sanlam and the Motsepe Foundation are doing for soccer development. “Aspiring players have the opportunity to better themselves, they just need to work hard and be determined,” he said.
“I have heard that some of the HTS Louis Botha players were scouted and are now part of the Mamelodi Sundowns Academy. I hope some of our players will get this opportunity this year, when they progress to the nationals.”
Bateman is not sure who they will be playing next but says they have upped their level of training as the more they progress the tougher it will be. “We need to make sure that we are prepared for the competition as it’s not going to be easy from now on,” he said.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
It is down to just four teams and the winner on Saturday, 10th May, at the Ikageng Stadium in Potchefstroom will earn the right to represent the North West province in the under-12 Danone Nations Cup soccer national finals in Boksburg on 28th June, and be in the running to represent the country at the Danone Nations Cup World Finals in Brazil later this year.
Manamolela Primary School from Atamelang in the Dr RS Mompati District will be one of the schools contesting the North West provincial finals, and it’s the first time that they have advanced to this stage of the competition.
Their coach, Donald Bingwa, said it’s great to have made it through to the next round. “The school has been participating in this tournament for years and they have never reached this level before,” he said. “It’s my first time coaching the team and they have done it under my leadership. I thank the boys for giving me a good welcome to the team by qualifying.”
Bingwa admitted that getting through the cluster games was not easy and he is not expecting anything different on Saturday. ”I didn’t expect the games to be that tough so early in the competition. Our toughest game was against Stellaland Primary School in Vryburg. We ended up in a 0-0 draw but scraped through by beating them 6 – 5 on penalties.”
Coaching for the first time has been a learning experience for Bingwa, who has no qualifications but has a great passion for the sport. “I learn something new every day,” he said. “The team is made up of young boys that need to be taught, watched and corrected in all aspects of soccer and they rely on my guidance and experience.”
That has been a challenge, Bingwa said, as during training or even in games, you find that some players lose their positions on the field. “They get lost or side tracked because they are still young and don’t really understand their positions and what they are meant to be doing. It’s going to take time to teach them, but that’s my job and I don’t mind doing,” he said.
Bingwa and his young team say they are ready for the challenge on Saturday, “Our biggest strength is being able to score goals, but we need to make sure that we have enough ball possession and create the opportunities to score.”
The coach does not want to single out any individual players in the team. “They all play differently and fulfill their duties differently. We are a united team and believe in team achievements as opposed to individual achievements.”
Mphe Batho Primary School (Bojanala District)
Kgetleng Primary School (Ngaka M Molekma District)
Agisang Primary School (Dr Kenneth Kaunda District)
Manamolela Primary School (Dr RS Mompati District)
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup launch match rescheduled as curtain raiser to the Sundowns vs Supersport United PSL game
It has been confirmed! The launch match of the under-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup between the reigning champions, Clapham High School and the 2012 champions, the School of Excellence, both from Gauteng, has been scheduled as the curtain raiser to the Sundowns vs. Supersport United PSL match at Loftus on Tuesday, 6 May. The first game will take place on field B, kick-off at 5.30pm followed by the PSL game at 7.30pm.
Entrance to the curtain raiser is free and Sundowns is further offering the first 500 fans that arrive at the stadium between 4.30 and 5pm a ticket to the later derby match, but they must be dressed in Sundowns colours.
The tournament is co-funded by Sanlam, the Motsepe Foundation and the Sanlam Ubuntu-Botho Community Development Trust and managed by the South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) and the Department of Basic Education.
The Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup plays an invaluable role in the development of football in South Africa, providing organised, competitive competition for the schools involved. It also, through its prize money, makes a major contribution to community development.
This year, R3,4 million will be paid out to schools, with the proviso that they use the money to fund educational and community projects in their areas that will benefit the wider community on a long term basis.
The prize money increased dramatically when Sanlam came on board five years ago and in that time over R13.6 million has been used successfully to fund projects such as the drilling of boreholes, building of classrooms, administration blocks, gyms, soccer fields and other sports facilities, purchase of transport vehicles including busses and on the education side computers have been purchased, teaching aids and many more.
The winning school at the national final tournament will walk away with R1 million. The second, third and fourth placed schools will receive R600 000, R500 000 and R400 000 respectively. The nine provincial winners will each receive R100 000 for their efforts.
The highlight of the 10th anniversary of the tournament is likely to be the on-going rivalry between Clapham High School, the current champions, the School of Excellence and the most successful team in the history of the tournament, Harmony High School from Virginia in the Free State.
The Mamelodi Sundowns Development Academy players are schooled at Clapham, while The School of Excellence is a sports academy that has supplied many players to PSL, First division as well as second and third division clubs over the years.
Mamelodi Sundown’s Percy Tau was part of the Clapham team in 2013 and was named the player of the tournament. After successfully completing Grade 12 last year, he was incorporated into the Sundowns first team and so far has come in as a substitute in for matches and has scored 2 goals.
The tournament is named in memory of Kay Motsepe, the mother of prominent businessman Patrice Motsepe. The aim of the tournament is to contribute to the development of South African soccer and to nurture future soccer stars. It strives to unite the country’s youth through the shared love of the game and to promote football excellence.
Johan van Zyl, Group CEO of Sanlam says the company understands the value of development and the opportunity it gives youngsters to achieve what they hope for. “We believe that the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup creates opportunities that have a positive impact on the youth, and that the tournament provides exposure to professional scouts for talented players,” he said. “Importantly, it also contributes to enhanced learning through improved educational facilities for the benefit of the rest of the pupils in the participating schools and for the benefit of the broader community.”
Kenneth Makhanya, a representative of the Motsepe Foundation and Ubuntu Botho Trusts, said the Motsepe Foundation endorses the objectives and rationale behind the sponsorship. “Our president, Mr Patrice Motsepe, initiated the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Cup in memory of his mother and to recognize the integral role she played in his life – encouraging him through school, then university and helping him through the dark times as well. This is what we want for the South African youth. Sanlam share that vision and it has created an ideal partnership.”
The tournament is organised by the South African Schools Football Association (Safsa). Their president, Mandla Mazibuko, said they are very grateful to Sanlam and Mr. Motsepe for their generosity. “Through this tournament we are able to educate learners through the medium of sport, and to ensure the future of the game,” he said.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Sheshego’s Rev MP Malatjie Primary School won the Limpopo Danone Nations Cup provincial finals and will be heading for Johannesburg to play in the national finals on the 28th June. If they win there they will represent South Africa at the World Finals in Brazil later in the year.
They earned that right after beating Chuchekani Primary on penalties in the final of the provincial playoffs at the Seshego Stadium in Polokwane.
Their coach, Phillip Nkwe, was overjoyed at their success. “For years we have been striving for the opportunity to represent our province at the national finals and this is our year,” he said.
They advanced to the final despite losing their opening game in the playoffs, to Mashamba Combined School by 1 - 0, and Nkwe puts that down to nervousness. “I could see that the team was not playing like they normally do, so after the game we had a team talk and I told them to overcome their fears and to play with confidence, after all the other players were all feeling the same way.” he said. “We then went on to beat Kgwatlhele 3-0 in our next game and it was like watching a completely different team. They just needed that motivation to keep them going.”
Nkwe acknowledges that the pressure is now on them. “Perhaps being our first experience at the national finals might put us under more pressure than those teams that have been there before, but every year we all have different teams, so the playing field is level now and we have just as much chance of winning as all the other schools,” he said.
He said the school has enlisted the help of local team owners and coaches in their preparations. “I know that the standard of football will be higher at the national finals and I want to make sure we are ready for it.”
The team won four games in the provincial finals, three of them on penalties, which shows they are able to operate under pressure, Nkwe said. “The level of football was high and competitive. Every school played their best as everyone wanted to win and get a chance to play for the trip to Brazil to play in the World Finals.
Nkwe’s strategy now is to focus on scoring goals and finding ways of controlling the boys’ nerves when they are playing in a different environment. The thought of going to Brazil, the football capital of the world, is very exciting for the boys and Nkwe believes they are up to the challenge and will do everything possible to make sure that they win the nationals and go to Brazil.
When asked what the boys wanted to see in Brazil it was the stadiums that caught their interest; “And meet the team they will be competing against in the Danone Nations Cup World Finals as, after all, Brazil has been the most successful country in terms of FIFA World Cup tournaments and it all starts from a young age and the boys are hoping to learn a trick or two from them,” Nkwe said.
Limpopo Provincial Finals Results
Chuchekani 5 vs Bonwankwe 0
Mashamba 1 vs Rev MP Malatjie 0
Kgwatlhele 0 vs Chuchekani 3
Bonwankwe 0 vs Mashamba 1
Rev MP Malatjie 3 vs Kgwatlhele 0
Chuchekani 2 vs Mashamba 1
Bonwankwe 0 vs Rev MP Malatjie 0 (Rev MP Malatjie won on penalties)
Mashamba 3 vs Kgwatlhele 0
Rev MP Malatjie 0 vs Chuchekani 0 (Rev MP Malatjie won on penalties)
Kgwatlhele 0 vs Bonwankwe 3
Final - Chuchekani 0 vs Rev MP Malatjie 0 (Rev MP Malatjie won on penalties)