Friday, July 31, 2015

Bloemfontein Celtic Academy players boost HTS Louis Botha in the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Regional finals

The Motheo regional finals in the under-19 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup competition take place at Bloemfontein’s HTS Louis Botha on Saturday 1st August, with the winner and runner-up going through to the Free State provincial finals happening a week later (8th August) at the same venue.

A school that is not new to the tournament is HTS Louis Botha, having finished in second position in 2013, and will be back in action again on Saturday.  Coach, Prince Sani said they are happy to have made it this far, but are focussed on the next step – the Free State provincial finals – and, beyond that, the nationals.

“Last year we didn’t even reach this level, so the boys want to prove to themselves that they have grown over the year,” he said. “Most of the players are in grade 12, so winning this tournament will be a good way to exit their final school year.”

The school is now affiliated to Bloemfontein Celtic FC, forming part of the club’s Youth Development Academy. “Now the boys have to work twice as hard because there might be possible signings for the 1st team,” Sani said.

“Already, Teboho Khasipe has signed a 3 year contract with the Celtic 1st team , although he is currently on loan to Roses United FC, and we have Tebogo Qinisile who plays for the SA u17 national side and who has been signed by the club.”

The school has done very well so far this year. There are more schools in the Bloemfontein cluster now, Sani explains, which has meant more games, and they have won all of them.

“We always welcome new schools and look forward to competing and getting our boys used to playing,” he said. “The more games we play the better for us, more games mean more exposure and better preparation.”

There have been no special preparations for the regional finals. They have been working as a team since the cluster games began and have not lost a single match in about 10 to 15 games played so far.

“The boys are proving to me and everyone that they are going to reach and win the national finals,” Sani said. “The first hurdle is the regional finals, but we are not that worried about those games. We have home ground advantage and the crowd will be rooting for us. All we need to do is not disappoint the students that will be supporting us. I can safely say that the boys are mentally and physically prepared.”

Among their opponents at the regional’s will be Grey College, who have done well in this tournament in the past. “We are neighbouring schools and have played against each other many times and I don’t remember them ever beating us,” Sani said.

The most successful school in the tournament’s history – Harmony High – have been knocked out and won’t be at the provincial finals this year, but Sani warns other schools against believing that this gives them a chance to win the title.

“They must think again because we are going to win the regional’s, provincials and nationals,” he said. “I was surprised that Harmony was knocked out so early in the tournament, but I guess it’s great that other schools also get an opportunity to participate in the provincials. We can’t have the same schools qualifying each year, last year we didn’t make it now this year Harmony didn’t make it.

There is another key reason why Sani believes all the players will be performing at their best.  “All the schools are working very hard in making sure that they also get a chance to reach the provincials, they know that the club scouts attend from provincials level and this is their chance to be discovered.”

The teams participating the Motheo regional finals are:

HTS Louis Botha-Bloemfontein Cluster
Grey College-Bloemfontein Cluster
Kgoronyane High School-Thaba Nchu Cluster
Metsimaphodi High School-Naledi Cluster

Unicom High School-Mantsopa Cluster

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