Thursday, May 29, 2014
Caley to represent Eastern Cape at the Danone Nations Cup National Finals
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