Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A school from Alexandra prepares for Danone Nations Cup play-offs

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.

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