Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tholokuhle High School win R100 000 as KZN Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial champions

Tholokuhle High School of Nseleni Township in Richards Bay are the KwaZulu-Natal provincial champions in the U-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup competition. They beat 2012 champions, Umqhele, of Pinetown 2-1 in the final, at Esikhawini College in Richards Bay last weekend.  The win earns the school R 100 000 to be used to fund projects that will benefit the school and local community.

Both Tholokuhle and Umqhele go through to the national finals happening at the Giant Stadium in Soshanguve, in Tshwane, from 6th to the 9th October.

Tholokuhle team manager, Mandla Mdletshe, said he is very grateful to his players for finally bringing the school success after many years of participating in the competition. “They have brought much joy and excitement to the school, and we are thankful to everyone who came on board to help us in terms of preparing the team for the provincial finals,” he said.

This is the first time that the school has reached the provincial finals and Mdletshe said the win showed that the players listened to the technical team’s advice and did what they were supposed to do, and that hard work does indeed pay off.

He admits that they had a slight advantage over the other schools as they were playing at home and the fans came in numbers to support them, which is a great motivator. “Everyone that was on the stands was rooting for us, and I think that made us work extra hard to make sure that we didn’t disappoint them,” he said. “We are also used to the weather here. I am sure that some of the other teams were struggling with the heat and the sudden changes in weather we get here.”

Playing against Umqhele in the final was the highlight of the day for Mdletshe. “We haven’t played against them for years and knew that we would more than likely meet them in the final and that’s what we wanted all along. They thought that they were going to make a feast out of us like they did other teams leading up to the final, but we showed them differently.”

While the entire team did well on the day, Mdletshe was impressed by Doctor Mthebu who scored their second goal in the semi final against Thubelihle High School. “His role is to assist strikers with getting the ball and creating chances to score. He did exactly that.” Mdletshe also singles out the performance of goalkeeper, Msawakhe Mncwango, who impressed Mamelodi Sundowns scout Jan Malambo.

While there will be celebrations at the school on Monday, the coach said they now need to focus on the national finals. “Looking at the teams that have qualified to date, there are some seasoned campaigners, like Harmony High, who have been playing in the nationals every year for the past 5 years, and then there is Holy Trinity that includes Supersport United academy players, but I believe in our team’s ability and they have shown great improvement and are ready to tackle the nationals. It’s high time that a KZN school won the national finals.”

Participating Teams
Siphinhlanhla 0 vs Muziwesize 5
Wembezi 1 vs Umqhele 2
Thubelihle 3 vs Thalane 2
Ikusasaelihle 1 vs Hillview 2
Muziwesizwe2  vs Centocow 0
Umqhele 3 vs Mlonde 0
Thalane 1 vs Mavuso 3
Hillview 0 vs Tholokuhle 2
Siphinhlanhla 2 vs Centocow 3
Wembezi 1 vs Mlonde 0
Thubelihle 3 vs Mavuso 1
Ikusasaelihle 0 vs Tholokuhle 1
Semi Final: Muziwesizwe 0 vs Umqhele 1; Thubelihle 2 vs Tholokuhle 2 (Tholokuhle won on penalties)

Final - Umqhele 1 vs Tholokuhle 2.

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