Tuesday, August 5, 2014

School qualifies for Eastern Cape Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Provincial Finals

Tlokweng Senior Secondary School of Makalaleng Village, Sterkspruit is the first school to qualify for the U-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Eastern Cape Provincial finals, which are scheduled to take place at the NU2 stadium in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth on 16th August.

The school is not new to the tournament. They began participating in 2008 and made it through to the provincial finals in 2012, but were knocked out therefore not progressing to the provincials.

Their coach, Mtura Nqonjana said he has the best squad of players every seen at the school this year and believes 2014 could be their year.  “The current team is new but experienced. It’s made up of players from last year’s under-17s,” he said. “We have 2 boys who play in the SAB regional league for the Seven Stars team, which I manage and coach. I think this team will cause damage to other schools, the team is strong and has won all its games so far, with one draw.”

In their regional finals they played against Ethembeni High and drew nil-nil, against Lehana Secondary and won 4-0 and then beat Bishop Dermot 2-0.

The team’s leading goal scorer is Khathu Thatu, who has found the net 6 times since the tournament began. “He is a quality striker, he uses every chance he gets and his finishing touch is impeccable,” Nqonjana said.

Another player to watch out for, according to the coach is defender Siyazi Khewana, whose nicknamed “Mafix” meaning that he is a fixer. “He keeps the backline tight, and has a good eye for the counter-attack. He has the potential to become one of the best defenders South Africa has seen.”

Nqonjana has a level 1 coaching qualification and has been coaching since 1999. “I have been coaching schools and local teams from around my area for 15 years now,” he said. “I am passionate about soccer and I want to make a difference in my township by showing these kids that they can have a career in soccer if they are determined to succeed.”

The preparations for the provincial finals have been going well Nqonjana said. “I don’t want to over-train the team. Currently they have been training with their clubs and will resume as a school team the week of the provincial finals. “

There will be seven regional winners participating in the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Eastern Cape provincial finals with the ultimate winner pocketing R100 000.  The winner, together with the runners-up, will progress through to the national finals, which carries a price tag of R1 million.  No funding is given to the school in cash but the schools must identify projects in need that will benefit the learners and community at large.

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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