Friday, August 8, 2014

Harmony on track for another successful Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup season

The most successful school in the history of the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, Harmony High School of Virginia in the Northern Free State, is on track to extend their winning record when they advanced to the regional finals of the Free State Lejweputswa District.

Harmony won the national title in 2011 finished in second place in 2010 and third and fourth place respectively in 2012 and 2013, winning a total of R2.6 million.

They will meet five other cluster winners in the regional finals on 9th August at Hoopstad Stadium , with the winners there going through to the Free State inter-district playoffs.

Last year’s Harmony side was almost entirely made up of under-17 players and they used the competition as a learning experience, says Pitso Mokoena, the team coach. There are nine of those players back this year and he is confident that they will go all the way this year.

“We have played 7 intense and challenging games so far to reach the regional finals,” Mokoena said. “I think that the cluster stage has become more competitive over the years, more and more schools are getting experienced and are hungry for this competition. We played against Letsete Secondary School and I was impressed, we beat them 1-0, and that school has a lot of talented players, I wouldn’t be surprised if next year Letsete beats us in this tournament.”

Making the semi-finals at the nationals last year was a great achievement, Mokoena said. “I didn’t even expect that they would even qualify for the nationals. Now the players are more experienced in the tournament, I am confident that we will do well.”

Mokoena is proud to have been part of Harmony’s success over the years. “We strive for success in everything that we participate in, I am a disciplined coach and I expect my players to be disciplined and have respect at all times. We have that understanding and I think that is what sets us apart from the rest of the schools,” he said.

Mokoena said he has one extraordinary player this year, 17 year old Tebogo Mokoena, an attacking-midfielder.   “He joined us this year and he has adjusted very well with the team and I know that he will be a favourite with scouts at the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup,” Mokoena said.

“Last year, 3 players: Kabelo Mabesa (defender), Mandla Masangane (defender) and Victor Noosi (mid fielder) were chosen to attend the Sundowns Development Academy Camp, and although they wern’t selected to be part of the Sundowns Academy, they learnt a lot and their eyes were opened as to what the future may hold for them. They are all part of this year’s team and they are hungry to win this tournament and make Harmony High School proud.”

The participating schools are:
Matjhabeng Cluster –Harmony High School
Matjhabeng Cluster-Letsete Secondary School
Tokologo Cluster-TBC
Masilonyana Cluster-TBC
Tswelopele Cluster-TBC
Nala Cluster – TBC

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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