Wednesday, September 17, 2014

KZN to host the next Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Provincial Finals.

The 12 KwaZulu-Natal regional winners will compete in the U-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup tournament provincial final being played at the Esikhawini Campus of the Umfolozi College in Richards Bay on 20th and 21st September.

Among the contenders for the title is Thalana High School of Dundee in the province’s UMzinyathi district, who last reached the provincial playoff stage of the tournament in 2010 and are confident that, this time, they will take the title, and the R100 000 in funding that goes with it.

The team’s coach, Mbuyiseni Zulu, says they have some star quality players who live and breathe soccer and who, he believes, should be playing for the academies of professional clubs.

“Unfortunately, they haven’t had the chance to be exposed to scouts and we are hoping that during the provincial finals there will be people there looking for talent,” he said.

The team played 8 games leading up to the provincials, and although it has not been an easy road, Zulu said they managed to win all of them and have shown that they are ready to win the provincial title. “It does not matter who we will be playing against our mission and goal is to win the provincials and nationals,” he said.

“This year it’s our mission to make sure that KZN wins the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, a school from KZN will be representing South Africa in the Danone World Finals, so I think it would be fitting if we won the national finals.”

Zulu said he has been working with this team since 2010, focusing on basic skills such as making and receiving passes, defending and shooting. “It’s important that the players know and understand how to execute these skills on the field,” he said. “Their fitness and endurance levels are up to par now and our plan is to attack, defend and score goals. We have been to the provincial level before in other tournaments we have learnt from those experiences.”

Should the school win the title and the R100 000, the money will definitely go into soccer development, Zulu says. “We don’t have a soccer field and use the local community soccer field for training.  When that is in use we have to resort to training in a classroom.  The money will be used to level the ground in the school and put up goalposts so at least we can have our own area. ”

Zulu is confident that his team will be up to the challenge ahead, even though they don’t yet know who they will be playing against. “We don’t care if the schools are affiliated to academies or not, soccer is soccer and all players play the game differently. We believe that our team will win this year, We have worked hard since the beginning of the year and are ready to take what belongs to us, which is the provincial title and no school will stand in our way.”

Participating Teams
·         UMzinyathi District-Thalana High School
·         UMgungundlovu District-Ikusasa Elihle High School
·         UThungulu District-Tholokuhle High School
·         Umlazi District-Hillview Secondary School
·         Pinetown District-Umqhele High School
·         Amajuba District-Thubelihle High School
·         ILembe District-Siphinhlanhla High School
·         Sisonke District-Centocow High School
·         UMkhanyakude District-Mavuso High School
·         UThukela District-Wembesi Secondary School
·         Ugu District-Mlonde High School

·         Vryheid District-Musiwesizwe High School

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