Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Cape Town first timers in the Danone Nations Cup hope to win the Provincials.
The Danone Nations Cup Western Cape Provincial Finals take place at the D’Almeida Stadium in Mossel Bay on Saturday 6th June, games kick-off at 10am. Competing will be the 6 regional winners including first timers, Kleinberg Primary school from Ocean View, Cape Town.
At the helm of Kleinberg will be two old boys, who are also teachers at the school, Zafrulas Oppelt (team manager) and Nolan Kopman (coach).
“We have never played in a tournament under the SASFA umbrella before,” said Oppelt. “We have always played in the schools local league soccer tournament, and this year we decided to enter as I believe competitions like the Danone Nations Cup will definitely improve the players as they will be exposed to competition that they were not getting in our local league.”
Oppelt and Kopman are passionate sports supporters. “We are both mad about sports in general and this is our way of giving back to the community, we do everything we possibly can to help the school in any shape or form,” he said.
Oppelt believes the players will get recognition from the tournament and they will take away something from it, win or lose. “We are lucky to have reached this stage. I certainly didn’t expect it but I am happy that the team managed to qualify for the provincials,” he said.
“We only played two games in our region of Cape Town and they were both relatively easy, but the real competition is going to be at the provincials,” he said. “We are coming in as underdogs. We know nothing about the schools that have qualified and have no experience of competing at this level. It’s going to be a challenge for the team but we have always taught the kids to strive for success no matter what the situation is, so we are very optimistic.”
They have prepared the team the best way they know how, Oppelt said, but they are not putting any pressure on the team. “We just want them to gain the experience to come back next year and cause waves.”
What helps, says Oppelt, is that a number of the players also play for local soccer teams, mostly for Oceanview FC, a reputable soccer club in Cape Town.
As for strategies ahead of the provincial finals, Oppelt said they are to going to take it one game at a time, and make sure they score a lot of goals.
“It’s important to start with a bang, and make the opponents aware that we are not here to play around. The boys have been training hard, they work well as a team and have been playing together as team since last year, so they are used to each other.”
The teams participating in the provincial finals are:
Naphakade Primary School-West Coast District
Mzoxolo Primary School- Eden District
Restvale Primary School –Central Karoo District
Masakhane Primary School-Overberg District
Kleinberg Primary School-Cape Town District
Rietenbosch Primary School - Winelands
Danone Nations Cup Partners