Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Mpumalanga's Daniye Higher Primary School wins through to the Danone Nations Cup national finals.
Daniye Higher Primary School of Bushbuckridge are the under-12 Danone Nations Mpumalanga provincial champions and will be heading for Boksburg to compete in the national finals on the 27th of June. If the school wins there they will represent South Africa in the world finals for the second time.
In 2013 Daniye represented South Africa at the Danone Nations Cup world finals in London which was a life changing experience for the youngsters who travelled. According to key player, Hlulani Zulu, who scored 2 goals at the provincial finals, he has been in contact with some of the players from the 2013 winning team and received invaluable support and guidance from him.
There are, of course, none of the 2013 players still at the school and, according to the team coach, Gideon Theko, they are taking it step by step this year.
“As previous national champions, we definitely had a target on our backs at the Mpumalanga playoffs,” Theko said, “but we had worked hard in preparing for them, and the boys did well to win the final after losing our first game.”
That first game loss was to Maminza Primary, whom they met in the final match again and managed to beat them 3-0 on penalties.
Theko puts that early setback down to fatigue – they had to leave home at 2am to travel to Middelburg for the finals and hadn’t slept well the night before.
“That’s something we need to get right for the nationals,” he said. “We need to work on our stamina to last the whole day, and to make better travel arrangements when we go to Gauteng.”
The experience of playing in the provincial finals was great, the coach said. “I was impressed with the organisation and the boys had a great time playing and interacting with the players from other schools, I think the other Mpumalanga schools that we beat will be rooting for us in the Nationals finals.”
The big challenge at the nationals is going to come from the Gauteng representatives, Theko thinks. “We don’t know who they will be yet, but they set the bar high there and are strong. But we will come in with a positive attitude,” he said.
The Mpumalanga provincial finals were played at the Themba Senamela Stadium in Middleburg on 9th May.
The results were:
Daniye 0 Maminza 0 (Mamzina won on penalties)
Dumelani 0 Nqobile 1
Dumelani 0 Daniye 1
Maminza 1 Nqobile 0
Nqobile 0 Daniye 1
Maminza 0 Dumelani 0 (Mamzina won on penalties)
Daniye 3 Maminza 0
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