Friday, May 27, 2016

Eastern Cape's Barkerville Junior Secondary School to now compete in the Danone Nations Cup National Finals

Barkerville Junior Secondary School from UMzimvudu in the Eastern Cape will be going to the Danone Nations Cup national finals in a few weeks’ time with the goal of winning the national title and having another chance to prove themselves at the competition’s world finals in France later in the year.

They get this chance after beating Ngubethole Bam Junior Secondary School  2 – 1 in the Eastern Cape provincial finals that took place last weekend.

They went to the world finals in Spain in 2011 as the national champions and for coach, Mpilo Changa, the experience he gained there has changed his approach to coaching that he believes will stand them in good stead at the nationals.

“The world finals taught me a lot, particularly in the scoring department,” he said. “The team from Germany, specifically, taught their kids to score from anywhere. In one game, one of their players received the ball on halfway, with his back to the goal. He controlled the ball, turned and stuck it in the back of the net. Those are the sorts of skills you need to succeed at that level.”

This team may not have as many talented players as the one that went to Spain, Changa said, but they are stronger physically, and they play as a team.

“They pass the ball well and I want to see them sharing the ball and show composure in front of the goals,” he said. “They can keep possession but at the same time they must pass to players in the gaps so that they have the opportunity to score.”

South African football is about dribbling and attacking opponents, Changa says. “We need to pass more and create opportunities.”

In preparation for the national finals, the coach intends organising as many friendly matches as he can. “We will be playing against local opposition in our neighbouring towns. I am going to make them physically fitter but I also want to work on the mental side of the game. I want my kids not to be afraid of the opposition. They must learn to trust and believe in themselves.”

There are two players that Changa is expecting big things of.

Bunathi Khala is a gifted left-footed player, which makes him a natural left winger. “He is good at cutting in from the wing and dribbling towards to the goal and creates goal scoring opportunities.”

Sindisa Pheyana is a striker, with a powerful boot who is very strong for his age. “In Sindisa I have a natural player who has the ability to hold possession and turn with the ball. There are few players who can do that. He needs to improve on his accuracy. There will be games where he will not have many opportunities to score, so he needs to take advantage of any chance he gets,” Changa said.

The Danone Nations Cup world finals taught the players a lot, Changa says. “We learnt about different cultures and we learnt about the importance of communication. We watched how teams like Japan managed to meet and communicate with the other teams even though they could not speak all that much English.

“We also learnt that there other ways to play football and that players from other countries are just as passionate about the game as we are.”

Having gone to the world finals in Spain will definitely give the team an advantage over the other teams in the national finals, Changa believes.

“We have seen what it takes to get there and we know how good the overseas teams are. We need to lift our game if we want to win the national finals and if we want to do better in the world finals than we did the last time around.”

Game 1: Debera JSS 0 vs. Gcinubuzwe CS 3
Game 2: Ben Nyati PS 0 (0) vs. Ngubethole Bam JSS 0 (2)
Game 3: Barkerville JSS 2 vs. Maruping PS 0
Game 4:  Debera JSS 0 vs. Ben Nyati PS 3
Game 5: Gcinubuzwe CS 0 vs. Ngubethole Bam JSS 2
Game 6: Maruping PS 0 (1) vs. Guqaza JSS 0 (2)
Game 7: Ngubethole Bam JSS 1 vs. Debera JSS 0
Game 8: Ben Nyati PS 2 vs. Gcinubuzwe CS 0
Game 9: Guqaza JSS 0 vs. Barkerville JSS 1
Final Game: Ngubethole Bam JSS 1 vs.  Barkerville JSS 2
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