Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lingelihle Senior Secondary take home R100 000 as Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Eastern Cape champions

Lingelihle Senior Secondary School of Ilinge, Queentown, was crowned the 2014 Eastern Cape provincial Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup champions after beating Walmer High School 3-0 at the Jabavu Stadium in Uitenhage on 16th August.

By winning the provincial title, the school receives R100 000 to spend on legacy projects, and they get to play in the national finals of the competition in October, together with Walmer High School.

It is the second time Lingelihle has taken the title – they won it in 2012 – and Sandile Mata, the school’s principal and the technical director of the team is thrilled that the hard work they have put in this year has paid off.

Mata gives much of the credit for their success to Vuyisa Bobani, who scored four goals in the provincial finals. ”He is a gifted footballer and keeps on improving with every game. I have coached him since he was 15 years old and I believe he has a bright future. I’m hoping the scouts from the professional clubs spot him at the national finals,” Mata said.

It’s still too early to say how the R100 000 they won will be spent, but Mata says that transport is a major problem at the school as they need to ferry schools kids to and from extra classes in Queenstown, which is about 60km from the school. “We do have a school bus, but it needs to be serviced, so we are hoping to use some of the winnings to do that. If we win at the national finals we will perhaps purchase a new bus as well.”

The lead up to the provincial finals went smoothly, Mata said (the school played 6 games winning them all).  Not even getting lost on the way to the stadium and having to get off the bus and go straight onto the field to play their first game affected the team.  “We were well prepared and we were not going to accept anything other than winning the provincials. This win goes to show that my team can withstand anything, I believe in them and that makes it easy for them to believe in themselves too.  We were the team to beat at the finals and everyone was gunning for us.  Not even last year’s winners, Executive Academy, could intimidate us.”

The team’s star, Vuyisani Bobani, is 19 and plays on the wing. He started off playing in the streets of Ilinge before joining a local club.

At 16 he went to study at Lingelihle and joined the school team. “I was part of the 2012 team that won the provincial finals, but unfortunately we didn’t win at the nationals,” he said. “I am happy to be part of the team again this year and my goal is to finish within the top 4 positions.”

Vuyisani scored four goals at the provincial finals and realises he is going to have to find the net at the national finals if the team is to be successful. “I know that the competition at the nationals will be tough and many of the schools will have academy players, but we are the best school in Eastern Cape and we have as much of a chance as they do. We need to remain focused and make sure that we play as a united front.”

Vuyisani is determined to become a professional player. “Soccer is my life and through the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup I am hoping to be scouted by either a National First Division or Premier Soccer League club.’

Lingelihle 4  vs  Velile 1
Tlokweng 0 vs Walmer 2
Zimele 0 vs Executive Academy 1
Magadla 2 vs Tlokweng 1
Lingelihle 1 vs Zimele 0
Walmer 1 vs Magadla
Velile 0  vs Executive Academy 0
Lingelihle 0 vs Executive Academy 0
Zimele 1 vs Velile 1

FINAL Lingelihle 3 vs Walmer 0

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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