Friday, May 23, 2014
Mpumalanga School causes upset at U-12 Danone Nations Cup Provincial Finals
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