Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Free State school a step closer to winning a trip to France to compete in the Danone Nations Cup world football finals


Witsieshoek Primary School of Phuthaditjhaba are the Free State under-12 Danone Nations Cup Provincial champions, after beating Inoseng Primary in the final at Grey College, Bloemfontein, last weekend. They now qualify for the national finals happening at the WJ Clements Stadium, Boksburg on June 25th.   If they win they will be heading to France in October to compete in the world finals.

It’s been a good sporting year for the school as these are the second national finals they will be competing in after their table tennis teams also took their provincial title.

The team’s coach, Zwelibanzi Zimu, said the provincials were not easy, including the final against Inoseng Primary. “We dominated the game, but we could not penetrate their defence,” he said. “Then, towards the end of the game, my defender, Mojalefa Titi scored a cracker.

“He broke down the right hand side, the goalkeeper stepped out of  goals to stop him and he chipped the ball over his head to make it 1 – 0, enough to win the game and get us into the nationals.

“It was undoubtedly the goal of the day. He was controlled and his ability to think laterally helped win us the title.”

Titi plays for the local Dynamos Football Club, where he has been for the past 3 years and this has also transformed him into a better player, Zimu said. “He will be key for us at the nationals. He has great leadership skills, is a good dribbler and has a lot of stamina.”

On the road to the provincial finals, Witsieshoek won eight games in a row, scoring 17 goals.

At the finals, their toughest match was against Tikwe Primary School who beat them 4 – 3 on penalties. “Their defence was good and they blocked and frustrated us,” Zimu said. 

“Now it is on to the nationals.  I will give the boys a break until Wednesday when we will be heading to the Charles Mopedi High Performance Institute for player evaluation – both mental and physical.

“We will get a 3-week plan for the build up to the nationals. That’s essential because I know that this level of the game is going to be tough and I want to prepare the boys the best I can, so the additional help is welcome.”

Diet will also play an important part in the build up to the nationals, said Titi, and a Danone NutriDay yoghurt a day will help keep the boy’s stamina levels up.

The Free State Department of Basic Education has been extremely supportive of the school helping them to secure the visit to the High Performance Institute, Zimu explained.

Benny’s Sports Development and Academy are going to be their biggest opposition, the coach anticipates. “We have played them before and they are a tough and polished team. They have professional coaches and as an academy have brought in players from around the country who are very skilled,” he said.

Free State Provincial Final Results
Toka PS 0 vs. Moipone PS 1
Inoseng PS 0 (1) vs. 0 (2)
Witsieshoek 0 (3) vs. Tikwe 0 (4)
Toka PS 0 vs. Insoeng PS  1
Moipone PS 1 vs. Nelson Mandela PS 1
Witsieshoek PS 0 vs. Toka PS 1
Tikwe PS 0 (2) vs. Inoseng PS 0 (3)
Moipone PS 0 vs. Witsieshoek PS 1
Nelson Mandela PS 0 (1) vs. Toka 0 (3)
Tikwe PS 0 vs. Moipone PS 2
Inoseng PS 0 vs. Witsieshoek PS 1
Tikwe PS 0 vs Nelson Mandel a 1
Moipone PS 1 vs. Inoseng PS 2
Toka PS 1 (3) vs. Tikwe PS 1 (2)
Nelson Mandela PS 0 (1) vs. Witsieshoek 0(3)
Final: Witsieshoek PS 1 vs. Inoseng PS 0

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