Monday, July 28, 2014
Gauteng Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Inter-district Finals kick-off
The U19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Gauteng inter-district football finals will be played around the province on July 24 and 25 with 15 district winners playing-off to determine the final 8 schools that will compete in the provincial finals happening at the Giant Stadium, Soshanguve on August 2.
The stakes are high with the provincial winner taking home R100 000 and booking a place, together with the provincial runner-up, in the national finals where the ultimate winner will get R1 million.
The inter-district fixtures were decided by a draw which saw one school, Kgoroyathuto High School, of district D7, drawing a bye to even the teams to 14.
Clapham High School, the 2013 national winners of the competition are in the inter-district playoffs again this year, as are regular participants in the national finals, Ekurhuleni North’s SAFA Transnet Football School of Excellence.
School of Excellence did not, by their standards, have a good Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup tournament in 2013. They went out at the provincial finals stage, and their coach, Whitey Tshowa, is determined not to let that happen again. “2013 is behind them now”, Tshowa said. “We are coming into this tournament with a clear mind and with a positive attitude. The players are motivated and believe in themselves.”
The School will be playing I.R. Lesolang High next week; “We don’t know how strong they are this year but they have had a very good team in the past, so we are definitely not taking them lightly,” Tshowa said.
The problem for all the schools playing in the inter-district playoffs is that they go into the series straight after three weeks of school holidays.
In School of Excellence’s case, the players were given a training programme to follow during the holidays, and Tshowa said he hopes they have taken it seriously. “The program requires self-discipline and the players will be tested when schools reopen to see if they have been following it,” he said. “When schools open it’s back to normal training, because our game against I.R Lesolang is on the first Friday back. But I have faith in the boys and in my coaching abilities. Reaching the inter districts level has not been an easy task but we managed to be victorious so far and I know that we are going to continue with the momentum,” he said.
School of Excellence is an academy school and each year they go on road shows all over the country searching for the best players, particularly kids about to go into grade 8. They are then invited to the school for trials and the best 20 to 25 players remain at the school. The entire 2014 team might be new to the tournament, but Tshowa says they have been together for years, which gives them the edge and they have the fighting spirit.
Tshowas is a highly-qualified coach. He has a level 3 coaching qualification, a CAF coaching license and is a SAFA instructor.
Gauteng Inter-District Playoffs Fixtures
24th JULY 2014
Eastbank High (D9) vs Thuto Lore Sec (D12) –Venue: No. 3 Square, 13th Avenue, Alexander
Clapham High (D3) vs (D6) TBC 23rd July – Venue: TBC 23rd July
Horizon International High (D11) vs Altmond High (D14) – Venue: Sporting Lisbon Field - Turfontein
Boitumelo Sec (D8) vs Thabajabula Sec (D10) Venue: Sebokeng Hostel- Sebokeng
25th JULY 2014
(D2) TBC 23rd July vs Sebone Sec (D5). Venue-TBC Tuesday
Holy Trinity High (D4) vs Steve Bikoville (D1) –Venue: Mbolekwa Stadium - Atteridgeville
I.R. Lesolang High (D15) vs School of Excellence (D17) – Venue: TUT - Soshanguve
Bye – Kgoroyathuto (D7)