Thursday, April 28, 2016

Third time lucky for Northern Cape Danone Nations Cup Provincial Winner

Van Rensburg Primary of Britstown in the Northern Cape is the first school to book its place in the national finals of the under-12 Danone Nations Cup soccer tournament.

The team emerged victorious from the five regional champions that competed in the Northern Cape provincial finals tournament at the Paballelo Stadium in Upington last weekend.

They will be travelling to Reiger Park in Boksburg on June 25th  to meet the other 8 provincial winners and play off for the national title and, with it, the opportunity to travel to France later in the year to compete in the Danone Nations Cup world finals.

It was a case of third time lucky for Van Rensburg, they were in the provincial finals in 2011 and again last year, but were knocked out both times. But, according to their coach, Jus Marolla, it was a case of “if at first you don’t succeed keep trying and just prepare better the next time.”

Marolla knows it won’t be easy at the next level, and that they are at a disadvantage because, coming from the Northern Cape they have limited competition at a higher level.

“We prepared well for the provincial finals and found our progress surprisingly easy,” said Marolla. “The boys were a bit nervous and I have seen them play better, but our strategy of all-out attack and total team defence worked well and my job now is to get their confidence up in preparation for the nationals.”

Marolla said the team is excited about travelling to Johannesburg. Most of them have never been there before so it’s going to be an adventure.

“They want to make friends and have fun while they are competing.  They know that it’s a competition, but they still want to have fun at the same time. Competing for a chance to travel to France is something that they will probably never get in their lifetime again.”

The nationals will be tough, the coach said, but the age limit is the same for everyone, and every team has a chance to win. “We just need to remain focused, and make sure that we cover our basics on the field,” he said.

Extra training sessions have been scheduled - and extra classes - because Marolla believes the players have to balance both their academics and their sport.

“I don’t want the players to concentrate too much on the tournament and lose focus in the classroom,” he said.
If he had to single out an individual player that has stood out for the team so far, Marolla would go for the captain, Nino Oliphant. “He is an all- rounder (he moved from goalkeeper to striker this year) and understands the game well. He gives the boys moral support when they are under pressure,” he said.

Limpopo will host the next provincial final at the Noorderland High School in Polokwane on April 16th.

Dr Isak van Niekerk Primary School 2 Beacon Primary School 3
Vlakfontein Primary School 0 Van Rensburg Primary 2
Leerkrans Intermediate School 1 Dr Isak van Niekerk Primary School 3
Beacon Primary School 4 Vlakfontein Primary School 3
Van Rensburg Primary School 2 Leerkrans Primary School 0
Dr Isak van Niekerk Primary School 2Vlakfontein Primary School 0
Beacon Primary School 2 Van Rensburg Primary School 3
Vlakfontein Primary School 1 Leerkrans Primary 0
Van Rensburg Primary School 0 Dr Isak van Niekerk Primary School 2
Leerkrans Primary School 0 Beacon Primary School 1
Beacon Primary School 2 Van Rensburg Primary School 3

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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