Wednesday, September 10, 2014
School makes the North West Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial finals for the first time and hopes to win the R100 000 on offer as prize money
Reabona Secondary School of Tweselang Township in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District, will be playing in the North West provincial finals of the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, at the Manokapa Sports Ground, Rustenburg, on 11th September, for the first time.
Mamphia Letsoalo, the team’s coach, has been with them for two years and believes this achievement is long overdue. “We have been competing in this tournament for a long time with no success,” he said. “We used last year’s failure in the competition as part of our preparation for this time around, and I think we are showing progress.”
Letsoalo believes that one of the problems with his players is self belief. “We have exceptional talent amongst the players but they lack self confidence and they hold themselves back. This year I have focused on positivity and self- belief before anything else. Getting into the provincial final has helped as they now see what hard work and confidence can achieve.”
Reabona won all of their pre-season friendlies, games in the cluster round as well as the regional finals of the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup.
“Having no provincial final experience will not hold us back,” said Letsoalo. “We have the same chance as the other schools to win the title. We have been working hard and our strategy will be to attack from the first minute of the game until the final whistle.”
Letsoalo started coaching when an injury cut short his playing days short, but has no coaching experience. “I coach out of passion and because I know that we have a lot of talented boys from North West, they just need someone that can be their mentor, someone that will harness their talent and help them reach their potential,” he said.
Letsoalo‘s assistant coach is Solly Olifant, a grade 12 learner at the school who is too old to play in the tournament. “We work hand-in- hand coaching the team and having him has had a huge impact on the team,” the coach said. “Some of the players play with him at the local club so they relate to him and respect him. That’s how I work, I prefer getting assistance from learners because they have the same energy and drive as the players.”
The team faces the challenges that come with the poverty in the area. Proper soccer boots are one of those. “We have to borrow boots for the players that don’t have. It’s a big challenge but we always seem to find a solution. If the school wins the R100 000 in prize money that goes with the provincial title, boots will be a priority.”
The coach believes that sport plays a big role in keeping the kids off the streets and it keeps them fit and healthy. “We need to invest in sport development in schools. We don’t have proper training grounds, my boys are so used to playing on a gravel field that it’s sometimes hard for them to play on a grass field.”
If there is a player to watch, Letsoalo believes it is defender, Nelson Lehutswe. “Our backline is the glue of the team and he plays an important role in it. No one can keep up with his endurance on the field.”
The players have been training with their local teams since the regional finals, and this week they will be training as a team. “We will continue training as we have been training all season and we have faith that we will win the provincials and the nationals,” Letsoalo concluded.
The teams participating in the provincial finals are:
Reabona Secondary School -Dr Kenneth Kaunda District
Sebetwane Secondary School - Dr RS Mompati District
JM Lekgetha Secondary School - Ngaka Modiri Molema District
Matlaisane Secondary School-Bojanala District