Thursday, August 21, 2014

Can Rietvale High School make four consecutive Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup wins?

Rietvale High School, from the small town of Ritchie, close to Kimberley has won the Northern Cape Provincial title in the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup for a remarkable 3 successive times, and will be in the running again when this year’s provincial playoffs take place on August 30 at the  AR Abbas Stadium in Kimberley.

Barry Kammies, the team’s manager, said the school has been fortunate to have a crop of talented players over the years, and the indications are that this year’s team matches up to the standards of previous sides.

“We have a strong, tight team again this year and I am sure that they want to continue the winning streak,” he said. “With that being said the school has never finished within the top four at the national finals and our goal this year is to change this.”

Kammies said their strategy for the provincial finals is to play as a united team. “Our success is built on team performance not on individual performance,” he said. “I don’t have a key player but I have several key players that contribute to the team’s success.”

The 2014 Rietvale team is very experienced. There are 10 players from last year that are still eligible to participate and they have been taking the lead in mentoring some of the new players in the squad.  “They have been proactive and I could not have asked for more from them, this is what I want from players – to take initiative and get the job done,” Kammies said.

The team has played 7 games so far, winning them all.  The games at cluster level were particularly competitive. “Having won the provincial title for three successive years we are obviously the team to beat and I could see all our competitors had prepared well so there was not a single game that I can say was easy,” Kammies said.

last year’s Northern Cape runners-up, Okiep, will also be competing in the provincial finals and Kammies sees them as their strongest opposition. “They were strong and competitive last year and I am sure that they have upped their game for this year’s leg of the tournament. We beat them 2-1 last year and I have a feeling that we will face up against them again this year at the finals. They will be looking for revenge, but we will defend our title to the very end.”

The school’s success story is Evander Spandiel, who plays for Thanda Royal Zulu in the Premier League. He was part of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 teams that won the provincial titles.

The team’s coach, Kasper Spandiel, has been coaching the school for years now and has done a great job in grooming the team technically and tactically. “He coaches all our age divisions, so the players know him and they are all used to his approach,” Kammies said. “He has been integral in the team’s success in all tournament we participate in.”

The school has put the funding they received from their 2011 and 2012 provincial titles to good use. They put up palisade fencing around the entire school, installed an air conditioner and installed a 40-station intercom system into the classrooms.  The R100 000 won last year has not been used as yet and Kammies is hoping that if they win this year the winnings will be combined and used to improve their soccer field. “Currently it’s just an open area that we use for training, we would like to develop it into a top-of-the -range facility.”

Participating Teams
·         Rietvale High School-Francis Baard District
·         Okiep high School-Namaqua District
·         Gamohana Senior Secondary School-John Taolo Gaetsewe District
·         Bongani High School-Pixley Ka Seme District

·         Kakamas High School-ZF Mgcawu  District 

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