Wednesday, June 14, 2017
St Joseph's Kulani will again represent Tshwane North in the Danone Nations Cup Gauteng Provincial Finals
The under-12 Danone Nations Cup Gauteng provincial finals will be happening at the WJ Clements Stadium on Saturday, 17th June, and in action again this year will be St Joseph’s Kulani Primary School representing Tshwane North.
In 2016 they emerged as the Gauteng winners to go on to represent the province at the national finals.
Themba Mabuza will be at the helm again. He has been in charge since 2015 after being recruited to the school by their former coach, Margret Mabilo. The two live in close proximity and Margret knew that Mabuza ran the local club, Manchester FC, to which most of her players were attached. It seemed obvious to her to bring him in as an external coach. After all she had been coaching the boys since 2010 but had never managed to help them through the cluster level.
To ensure he fully understood working with children, the school sent him to attend a number of workshops put together by an organisation called Education Sector Strategic Programme (ESSP), and the results are now showing.
ESSP is a project run by the Departments of Education, Sport, Art, Culture and Recreation, the Department of Community Safety and Infrastructure with the purpose of delivering faster and better services to the children of Gauteng.
“I learnt a lot about dealing with kids there,” Mabuza said. “I also attend as many soccer games in the Pretoria area as I can to pick up latest trends and gain insight into different tactics which I then implement in the team.”
Four players from his club are in this year’s team including the key striker, Tshepo Mogalane, who scored 3 goals in last year’s nationals and has been at Manchester Football Club since 2015.
“Last year’s national finals were very tough,” said Mbuza. “We lost 3 and won 1 game in the group stages. I’m hoping that we get to the nationals again this year, and while we are there, hopefully some of the players will be picked up by the soccer academies that will be there searching for young talent.”
Being part of the DNC has been one of the most notable moments in his coaching career and has taught him a lot about youth development, Mabuza said.
“One of the key attributes players need in this tournament is focus and discipline. Our success last year has done a lot for the club and the school’s success. It has resulted in many kids wanting to join us.”
The teams in Gauteng national finals are:
Johannesburg: Florida Laan Primary School
Johannesburg: Zenzeleni Primary School
Ekurhuleni: Thembalethu Primary School
Ekurhuleni: Roseview Primary School
Tshwane: Sunnyside Primary School
Tshwane: St Joseph’s Primary School
West Rand: JB Marks Primary
JHB Primary Schools: Reddam House Prep School
Sedibeng: Arcon Park Primary