Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Western Cape Provincial Finals Kick-Off

The months of gruelling qualifiers will culminate on Saturday, 5th September at the Nyanga Stadium with the six Western Cape regional winners battling it out to be crowned the under-19 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial champions.  The winner takes home R100 000 and both teams that play in the final match will compete in the national finals taking place in Gauteng from 7th to the 10th October.

The teams that have qualified include:  Thembalethu Secondary School (Eden District), Qhayiya Secondary School (Overberg District), Ilingelethu Secondary School (West Coast District), Beaufort West Secondary School (Central Karoo), Excelsior High School (Cape Town) and the Winelands district is still to play their finals.

Excelsior and Qhayiya are not new to the provincial finals having made it this far a couple of times, but for Ilingelethu Secondary School not only is this their first time competing in the provincials but they are competing in the tournament for the first time as well. 

Coach Mfundo Nyunguza came to the school this year and he has made it his mission to build the soccer teams and enter as many tournaments as possible.

“The school did have an under 19 team when I can but it was not competitive.  I have started afresh and select new players,” he said. “The boys responded well and we now have an under-17 and an under-19 team,” he said.

It’s been a great experience for the boys, although so far things have been relatively easy admits Nyunguza. “We didn’t play as many games as I thought we would (6 in total), and I think the real challenge start now in the provincials. We are inexperienced at this level and there is a lot at stake as all the schools will be fighting for the provincial title.”

They don’t really know what to expect, Nyunguza said. “So we will be taking each phase as a learning curve and we hope to soak in as much information as we can for next year.”

Winning the regionals was a huge achievement for Nyunguza personally. “I never thought that I would lead the team to victory especially as this is my first year with the team,” he said. “This has proved to us that if you set your mind on something and put in 100 percent effort you can achieve anything.”

The entire school was surprised to learn that the team had qualified for the provincials for the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup. “They are behind us all the way and we truly appreciate their support, but they are not putting any pressure on the team to win the provincials,” Nyunguza said.

Preparations for the provincial are now underway, with the team training 3 to 4 times a week.

“Luckily we have our own field, even though it’s not in good condition, but at least we don’t have to worry about finding a ground to use,” Nyunguza said. “Another plus is that the boys play for local clubs, so if we don’t train after school, we know they will be training there.

“It’s good for them to be coached by different coaches who have different techniques and methods. What they learn from me they can also learn from their local coaches, which is a win-win situation.”

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