Tuesday, May 6, 2014

North West Danone Nations Cup Provincial Finals kick-off

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.”

Participating teams:
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)

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