Sunday, May 1, 2016
Danone Nations Cup football kick's 0ff in Ekurhuleni
The under-12 Danone Nations Cup provincial finals will take place at Reiger Park in Boksburg on June 11, and across the country the process to identify the nine qualifying schools is under way.
Gauteng is one of the largest provinces in terms of numbers of schools participating and the Ekurhuleni North and South regions are about to kick-off their cluster-level qualifying matches.
A school that will be competing in the tournament for the first time this year is Chief Luthuli Primary from Daveyton in Ekurhuleni South. The school opened its doors seven years ago and until this year sport was played but not at a competitive level – that was until new coach, Claude Mathuba, took over.
He is not new to the Danone Nations Cup having coached Ivory Park Primary in the 2012 and 2013 Danone Nations Cup competitions – taking that school to the provincial finals in 2012.
“I saw the difference the Danone Nations Cup made to the players from my previous school in terms of confidence and how this impacted on their academics and now want to do the same at Chief Luthuli. That’s why I entered them into the competition this year.”
The team has been selected and the coach is happy. “I chose boys who have some club experience who understand the pressure that comes with playing in tournaments,” he said.
“I am working on the strikers and their finishing. They need to see the opportunity and take the risk. Far too many strikers get cold feet and pass the ball, missing the opportunity.”
Albertina Sisulu Primary from Thembisa will be competing in the Ekurhuleni North district. The school has been participating in the Danone Nations Cup since 2013 but has not managed to get past the district level so far.
Their coach, Gridwell Mohubedu has been coaching at the school since 2013 and is a former Benoni United player.
He says that while he knows the boys want to get to the provincial finals, his focus is on education (he teaches maths, social science and biology).
”They won’t get far without a good education,” he says. “I tell the boys they must look up to players like Lehlohonolo Majoro, currently at Orlando Pirates, who has a degree in Radiology, Daine Klate (SuperSport United) who has a degree in Financial Accounting and Tefu Mashamaite (currently competing in the USA) who has a degree in Political Science. They are the role models young players should be following.”
Mohubedi believes a good player needs to use his educational skills to be able to anticipate other players and the ball. ”You need to be a lateral thinker and problem solver to be a good player.”
Katlehong-based Monde Primary School will be playing in the Ekurhuleni South district. They have been competing since 2013 with the same manager, Nondumiso Ndlagisa and coach, Jabulani William Mthembu, but have never made it past district level.
Mthembu is well qualified: he has a SAFA level 1 coaching certificate and has Coaching 1, 2 and 3 and life skills from the Netherlands Soccer Association and played for Benoni United. He is an external coach that comes to assist with soccer at the school.
“As an outsider, it’s important to assess the behaviour of the players. If a child does not behave in class this will spread onto the football field and he can become disruptive,” he says.
“So I have only selected players that do well academically, are disciplined and already have a basic knowledge of the sport. In this way we hope to make it to the provincial level.”