Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Bloemfontein High School vies for the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Provincial Title
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.