Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gauteng Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Provincial Finals kick-off

Months of grueling qualifiers will culminate in eight teams competing in the first round of under-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial finals taking place on Saturday, 2nd August, at the Giant Stadium, Soshanguve, Tshwane. The action will kick-off at 9am with the winners taking home R100 000 to be spent

Saturday’s winners and runners-up will qualify to play for a whopping R1 million on offer to the ultimate winner that emerges from the national finals taking place between the 6th and 9th October.

The current champions, Clapham High School of Pretoria, were given quite a scare by Boksburg’s Sunward Park High in a thrilling inter-district final played last week. They finally managed to beat them 5-3 in a penalty shootout. 

As Gauteng and national champions for 2013, Clapham won R1.1 million which they will be using to build a new Life Orientation centre, a pavilion with a coaches room; and to buy white boards, desks and chairs for learners, as well as staff tables and chairs, cabinets and a boardroom table.

Johannes Petje, Clapham’s team manager, was shaken after the Sunward encounters and admitted that while they knew Sunward Park was a good team, they were taken by surprise and did not expect such a hard game. “When you are the champions it’s not easy as everyone wants to beat you and they prepare very well,” he said

“They played better than us and deserved to win, but my guys showed guts and character and when it came to penalties the boys kept a level head. We started the game well and should have wrapped it up in the first 20 minutes but failed to capitalise on the chances we got.”

Petje puts the scare down to the boys only just returning to school after a month’s holiday. “Although we gave them each a training regime to follow, it is obvious they didn’t stick to it,” he said. “We have also not been able to schedule any practise games. We were also playing without 2 of our key players who are currently with the SA under-20 national team who are touring West Africa.”

So, for the Clapham technical team, it’s back to the drawing board as they admit there is a lot of work to be done before Saturday. “We need to re-group as the team is not playing like defending champions. We have 8 new recruits and they are under a lot of pressure to repeat last year’s success,” Petje said.

The provincial finals are not going to be easy, the manager said. “Every school will be gunning for us and it’s not going to be easy to remain at the top but we are determined to fight for the title as we want to keep the trophy in our cabinet.”

The following schools have qualified for the Gauteng Provincial Finals
Clapham High School (Tshwane North)
Thaba Jabula Secondary School (Johannesburg North)
East Bank High (Johannesburg East)
Kgoroyathuto High School (Sedibeng East)
Holy Trinity High School (Tshwane South)
M.O.M Sebone Secondary School (Gauteng East)
I.R Lesolang High School (Tshwane West)
Waterstone College (Johannesburg South)

About the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup:
·           The tournament is run under the auspices of the South Africa Football Association (SASFA)
   Named after prominent businessman Patrice Motsepe’s late mother, the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup offers the biggest prize money at school level in Africa (R3.4 million in total). 
·           The sponsors are:  Sanlam, the Motsepe Foundation and the Sanlam Ubuntu-Botho Community Development Trust.
·           The primary objective of the tournament is to revive the culture of school football amongst students between the age of 16 and 19 years old.
·           The tournament also gives players the opportunity to showcase their skills to soccer scouts with the talented players being recruited into development structures to be nurtured and shaped into professional players.

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