Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Free State team hopes to win the Danone Nations Cup provincial title

Free State’s Clive Solomon Stadium, in Bloemfontein will host the first Danone Nations Cup provincial final on Saturday March 21st to determine which school will represent the province at the national finals later in the year.

The schools participating are:
Motheo district - Toka Primary School, Bloemfontein
Fezile Dabi district - Nelson Mandela Primary,Sasolburg
Xhariep district - Mofulatshepe Primary, Smithfields
Lejweleputswa district - Thoriso Primary School, Hoopstad
Xhariep district - Inoseng Primary, Petrusburg
Thabo Mofutsanyane district - Matswathaka Intermediate School, Qwa-Qwa

Thoriso Primary School manager/coach, Mr Finger, explained that the school qualified for the provincial finals in 2008, the first year that they entered the competition, and have been knocked out at the regional stage every year since then.

“This year we managed to overcome the regional finals,” he said. “It’s been long and I know that it won’t be easy for us but I trust and believe that my team will do whatever it takes to make sure that we win the provincials.”

Finger said that these players are very young and still have to learn the game, so he didn’t focus on their technique when he chose them for the team, he looked at the passion that a player has on the field.

“Once I see that in a player, then I can start teaching them about technique, space and passing. It’s important for a coach to have the ability to spot a passionate player; having players that are passionate makes your job a whole lot easier, because they will take your teaching seriously.”

Finger has been coaching since 1996 when he started at Thoriso and coaches the u-12, u-13 and u-14 teams. He does not have a qualification, but has experience as a player as well as a coach. “I believe a coach needs to have some form of qualification in order to be great and I plan on getting one soon,” he said.

“I believe communication is key when it comes to coaching, You need to build trust between yourself and your players and the only way to achieve that is through communication. Players need to know and trust that you have their best interests at heart all the time, you need to be there for them every step of the way.”

Patience, especially when you are coaching kids younger than 14 years old, is vital said Finger. “Their attention-span is not long, so you constantly need to repeat drills. Some kids are able to remember from the 1st take and others need to be taken through the drills over and over. That takes patience.”

Thoriso did very well in the regionals, especially in the final, the coach believes. “We played against Letsibolo, who had won one of their previous games 4-0. We were afraid that they might bury us. That final game was competitive and we managed to win 1-0. Scoring that one goal was not easy at all. I’m hoping that the players have the same attitude at the provincials on Saturday.”
Finger says the boys are excited to be travelling to Bloemfontein. “We are from Tikwana a rural area in Hoopstad, so a lot of our kids never get a chance to travel within Free State, or outside of it. If we win the Provincial title we could go to Gauteng. How I inspire the team is to remind them that every time they move up in this tournament they get a chance to travel and see places they have never been to before.

Regional playoff results
Bronville 0 Thoriso 0 (Thoriso won on penalties)
Tikwe 1 Loboneng 0
Kegomoditswe 1 Bronville 1 (Kegomoditse won on penalties)
Letsibolo o Tijwe 0 (Letsibolo won on penalties)
Thoriso 0 Kegomoditswe o (Thoriso won on penalties)
Loboneng 0 Letsibolo 4
Final – Letsibolo 0 Thoriso 1

About Danone
Danone Southern Africa is part of the Danone Group, one of the fastest-growing food companies in the world.  Danone is present in over 120 countries across all continents. With 160 plants and around 100,000 employees, the Danone Group is the number one worldwide for Fresh Dairy Products. Danone’s mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible.
One of the core values of the Danone Nations Cup tournament is to encourage young people to believe in their dreams. Through this initiative Danone offers a sporting event that reaches out to and inspires millions of children all over the world

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