Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tholokuhle High School win R100 000 as KZN Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial champions

Tholokuhle High School of Nseleni Township in Richards Bay are the KwaZulu-Natal provincial champions in the U-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup competition. They beat 2012 champions, Umqhele, of Pinetown 2-1 in the final, at Esikhawini College in Richards Bay last weekend.  The win earns the school R 100 000 to be used to fund projects that will benefit the school and local community.

Both Tholokuhle and Umqhele go through to the national finals happening at the Giant Stadium in Soshanguve, in Tshwane, from 6th to the 9th October.

Tholokuhle team manager, Mandla Mdletshe, said he is very grateful to his players for finally bringing the school success after many years of participating in the competition. “They have brought much joy and excitement to the school, and we are thankful to everyone who came on board to help us in terms of preparing the team for the provincial finals,” he said.

This is the first time that the school has reached the provincial finals and Mdletshe said the win showed that the players listened to the technical team’s advice and did what they were supposed to do, and that hard work does indeed pay off.

He admits that they had a slight advantage over the other schools as they were playing at home and the fans came in numbers to support them, which is a great motivator. “Everyone that was on the stands was rooting for us, and I think that made us work extra hard to make sure that we didn’t disappoint them,” he said. “We are also used to the weather here. I am sure that some of the other teams were struggling with the heat and the sudden changes in weather we get here.”

Playing against Umqhele in the final was the highlight of the day for Mdletshe. “We haven’t played against them for years and knew that we would more than likely meet them in the final and that’s what we wanted all along. They thought that they were going to make a feast out of us like they did other teams leading up to the final, but we showed them differently.”

While the entire team did well on the day, Mdletshe was impressed by Doctor Mthebu who scored their second goal in the semi final against Thubelihle High School. “His role is to assist strikers with getting the ball and creating chances to score. He did exactly that.” Mdletshe also singles out the performance of goalkeeper, Msawakhe Mncwango, who impressed Mamelodi Sundowns scout Jan Malambo.

While there will be celebrations at the school on Monday, the coach said they now need to focus on the national finals. “Looking at the teams that have qualified to date, there are some seasoned campaigners, like Harmony High, who have been playing in the nationals every year for the past 5 years, and then there is Holy Trinity that includes Supersport United academy players, but I believe in our team’s ability and they have shown great improvement and are ready to tackle the nationals. It’s high time that a KZN school won the national finals.”

Participating Teams
Siphinhlanhla 0 vs Muziwesize 5
Wembezi 1 vs Umqhele 2
Thubelihle 3 vs Thalane 2
Ikusasaelihle 1 vs Hillview 2
Muziwesizwe2  vs Centocow 0
Umqhele 3 vs Mlonde 0
Thalane 1 vs Mavuso 3
Hillview 0 vs Tholokuhle 2
Siphinhlanhla 2 vs Centocow 3
Wembezi 1 vs Mlonde 0
Thubelihle 3 vs Mavuso 1
Ikusasaelihle 0 vs Tholokuhle 1
Semi Final: Muziwesizwe 0 vs Umqhele 1; Thubelihle 2 vs Tholokuhle 2 (Tholokuhle won on penalties)

Final - Umqhele 1 vs Tholokuhle 2.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Excitement is building as the countdown to the U-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup enters its final phase.

There is less than a month to go before the 18 teams that have qualified to play in the culminating stage of Africa’s biggest schools football competition, the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, travel to Soshanguve for a showdown that could result in some significant prize money for their teams.

The nine provincial champions, and the nine second-placed teams, will be in action at the Giant Stadium in Soshanguve from October 6 to 9 and the overall winners will walk away with a whopping R1 million in funding for legacy projects at their school. The school that comes 2nd wins R600 000, 3rd gets R500 000 and 4th place finisher gets R400 000.  Each of the provincial winners have already received R100 000 for their efforts and the national finals give the runners-up the chance to also win some money.

The consensus is that this year’s competition is wide open, following the elimination of the defending champions, Clapham High School at the provincial playoff stage.

That said, there are a number of schools who have been to the nationals many times before and who have the experience needed to go all the way. Limpopo’s Benny's Sports Academy are there for 4th time; Mondale have won the Western Cape title for the second year in a row; and perennial Free State contenders Harmony, the most successful school in the competition (they have won R1.7 million in all) are back for the 6th year in a row.

Gauteng will be sending a newcomer to the tournament in Pretoria’s Holy Trinity High School. Although it’s all new for the school, that’s not the case for the players, however. Most of them belong to the Supersport United Academy which is now located at the school and they played in the finals last year for Rosina Sedibane Sports School.

Holy Trinity’s success on debut is contrasted by AJ Ferreira Secondary School from Upington in the Northern Cape who have been competing in the competition for years and who have qualified for the national finals for the first time.

The Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup national finals is an ideal opportunity for the clubs to spot talent and scouts from PSL clubs will be there in force to look for players to boost their youth academies. Mamelodi Sundowns will again be selecting a team of top players who will be offered a trip to Chloorkop to participate in a coaching clinic.

The Soshanguve local government has come to the party and the finals promise to be a great occasion. Fans will be bussed in to watch the action and co-sponsors, The Motsepe Foundation, will be bringing in top music groups from around the country to provide live entertainment.

About the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup:
·           The tournament is run under the auspices of the South Africa Football Association (SASFA)
   Named after prominent businessman Patrice Motsepe’s late mother, the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup offers the biggest prize money at school level in Africa (R3.4 million in total). 
·           The sponsors are:  Sanlam, the Motsepe Foundation and the Sanlam Ubuntu-Botho Community Development Trust.
·           The primary objective of the tournament is to revive the culture of school football amongst students between the age of 16 and 19 years old.
·           The tournament also gives players the opportunity to showcase their skills to soccer scouts with the talented players being recruited into development structures to be nurtured and shaped into professional players.

KZN to host the next Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Provincial Finals.

The 12 KwaZulu-Natal regional winners will compete in the U-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup tournament provincial final being played at the Esikhawini Campus of the Umfolozi College in Richards Bay on 20th and 21st September.

Among the contenders for the title is Thalana High School of Dundee in the province’s UMzinyathi district, who last reached the provincial playoff stage of the tournament in 2010 and are confident that, this time, they will take the title, and the R100 000 in funding that goes with it.

The team’s coach, Mbuyiseni Zulu, says they have some star quality players who live and breathe soccer and who, he believes, should be playing for the academies of professional clubs.

“Unfortunately, they haven’t had the chance to be exposed to scouts and we are hoping that during the provincial finals there will be people there looking for talent,” he said.

The team played 8 games leading up to the provincials, and although it has not been an easy road, Zulu said they managed to win all of them and have shown that they are ready to win the provincial title. “It does not matter who we will be playing against our mission and goal is to win the provincials and nationals,” he said.

“This year it’s our mission to make sure that KZN wins the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, a school from KZN will be representing South Africa in the Danone World Finals, so I think it would be fitting if we won the national finals.”

Zulu said he has been working with this team since 2010, focusing on basic skills such as making and receiving passes, defending and shooting. “It’s important that the players know and understand how to execute these skills on the field,” he said. “Their fitness and endurance levels are up to par now and our plan is to attack, defend and score goals. We have been to the provincial level before in other tournaments we have learnt from those experiences.”

Should the school win the title and the R100 000, the money will definitely go into soccer development, Zulu says. “We don’t have a soccer field and use the local community soccer field for training.  When that is in use we have to resort to training in a classroom.  The money will be used to level the ground in the school and put up goalposts so at least we can have our own area. ”

Zulu is confident that his team will be up to the challenge ahead, even though they don’t yet know who they will be playing against. “We don’t care if the schools are affiliated to academies or not, soccer is soccer and all players play the game differently. We believe that our team will win this year, We have worked hard since the beginning of the year and are ready to take what belongs to us, which is the provincial title and no school will stand in our way.”

Participating Teams
·         UMzinyathi District-Thalana High School
·         UMgungundlovu District-Ikusasa Elihle High School
·         UThungulu District-Tholokuhle High School
·         Umlazi District-Hillview Secondary School
·         Pinetown District-Umqhele High School
·         Amajuba District-Thubelihle High School
·         ILembe District-Siphinhlanhla High School
·         Sisonke District-Centocow High School
·         UMkhanyakude District-Mavuso High School
·         UThukela District-Wembesi Secondary School
·         Ugu District-Mlonde High School

·         Vryheid District-Musiwesizwe High School

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

KFC launches the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour 2014 for the 2nd year

Skilled batting, accurate bowling and great sportsmanship are the hallmarks of the KFC Mini-Cricket programme and this year the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour offers kids from around the country the once in a lifetime opportunity to play their Protea heroes. The highly anticipated second season of the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour is more exciting than ever because first prize winners will now get to play with their school team against the Proteas at a live curtain raiser to the KFC T20 International Series against West Indies in January 2015.

This season, KFC is bringing the public three great prizes through the KFC Mini-Cricket Competition. The main prize includes three winners and their Mini-Cricket teams meeting their cricketing heroes on the pitch to play for the title. The chosen teams from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town along with their team coach will be mentored by one of three former Proteas players who have seen and done it all.  These former Proteas will be acting as Assistant Coaches to the winning school teams and will play an active role in the team’s preparation and build up to the tour games with exclusive training sessions and warm up games at the Ram Slam T20 Challenge taking place in the three regions.

Not only will the teams have three assistant coaches but they will play a number of Protea Players including the female team during the Tour. Ryan McLaren who played last season mentioned: “The KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour is an exceptional initiative for KFC Mini-Cricket kids. If the Proteas can in some way be an inspiration to the KFC Mini-Cricketers, who will one day be our future heroes, I believe our job is done”.

The second prize winners will get active as ball boys and girls at the Ram Slam T20 Challenge games with the rest of their school team and third place winners will receive KFC Mini-Cricket sets including bats, stumps and balls.

“Growing the KFC Mini-Cricket programme by providing kids with exciting opportunities to get active and meet their sporting heroes is at the heart of everything  we will be activating this season, the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas Tour promises to be bigger and better,” says Lizanne Bartlett, KFC South Africa Marketing Director.

Bartlett continues, “When the KFC Mini-Cricket teams take on the Proteas they will be representing all of the KFC Mini-Cricket kids from across South Africa who get active through the KFC Mini-Cricket programme. I can’t wait to see that first ball bowled and for kids to get active while having fun.”

David Mokopanele, Development Manager for Cricket South Africa added, “We would like to thank our partner KFC for their continued support in cricket development and ensuring children stay active through one of South Africa’s most loved sports.”

To stand the chance to play the Proteas dial *120*7535# between Saturday, 13 September and Tuesday, 14 October 2014.
For more details, visit www.kfcminicricket.co.za and follow the tour action on #kfcminicricket.

Picture captions:
11       Chris Morris and Alviro Petersen signing autographs after getting active at the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas season launch.
22      KFC Mini-Cricket Coaches Mfuneko Ngam, Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie at the KFC Mini-Cricket vs Proteas season launch. These ex Proteas players are going to assist the KFC Mini-Cricket coaches in getting their kids ready for the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas matches that will be played as curtain raisers to the KFC T20 Internationals in January.
33      KFC Mini-Cricket kids, Proteas and ex Proteas getting ready to get Active at the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas season launch.
44     Kgomotso Rapoo, the captain of the KFC Mini-Cricket kids team, tries to run out Chris Morris in the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas launch.
55      Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Andrie Steyn sneak a run during the game at the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas season launch.
66      Neil McKenzie and Mfuneko Ngam, ex Proteas and coaches of the KFC Mini-Cricket teams, pose with player of the match Kgomotso Rapoo.
77      General view of the match where a team of KFC Mini-Cricket kids took on a team of Proteas and Proteas women during the KFC Mini-Cricket Kids vs Proteas season launch.

Sebetwane Secondary School retain North West Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Provincial title

Sebetwane Secondary School of Vryburg successfully defended their North West provincial title in the U-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup soccer tournament when they finished top of the log in a four school playoff on Saturday at the Monakato Sports Stadium.

Sebetwane won all their games, with Matlaisane finishing in second place. Both schools now go through to the national finals of the competition at the Giant Stadium, Soshanguve, Tswane from 5th to the 9th October.

The Sebetwane coach, Ike Lebatle, said he was a bit surprised that they qualified again because this is a new team and the school is in a building phase. “Many of last year’s players have completed Grade 12 and no longer at the school,” he explained. “In schools football, unlike the PSL, teams change every year and although you might have played the same schools over and over, a new squad can make a marked difference and suddenly you are faced with a school that is exceptionally good this year but was average last year.”

Sebetwane’s first game, against Reabona, was their most difficult. The team had not settled down and didn’t play well, but still managed to win 1-0.

“JM Legetla was also a difficult opponent,” Lebatle said. “We had been warned before we got here that the team was good as they beat seasoned participants in this tournament, Sol Plaatjie, to get into the provincial finals. They are experienced and technically and tactically good. They gave us a run for our money, but there again we managed to get the ball into the net to beat them 1-0.”

Lebatle is reluctant to single out any individual player in his team – they all played well as a cohesive unit. “I am extremely happy that we have once again won money for the school,” he said. “We brought along our supporters who cheered us on and that was really motivating to the boys”

Now it’s time to focus on the national finals and Lebatle knows that they will be up against academy teams there. “I am going to beef up my technical team by bringing in Dutch experienced coach, Klaas-Jan Topp.  He has all the international coaching qualifications and lives in Vryheid, right next door to our village.”

How the R100 000 in legacy funding that the school received will be spent is to be decided by the School Governing Body, but Lebatle hopes it will be put to good use in the sport department. “We don’t have our own field and our equipment is very poor,” he said. “The boys don’t have decent soccer boots, as most of their parents cannot afford them. The education department has assisted on the educational side with computers and laptops for the school, but we get no help from them on the sport side.”

Sebetwane 2 vs Reabona  0
Goals:  Itumeleng Mosikare, Tebogo Serima
Matlaisane 0 vs JM Lekgetha 0
Reabone 0  vs Matlaisane 4
Goals:  Lebogang Monama, Chally Matlou (2), Olifile Malesa
JM Lekgetha 0  vs Sebetwane 1
Goal:  Tebogo Serima
Matlaisane 1 vs Sebetwane 2
Goals:  Mat: Archibald Modiba
                Seb:  Zinzile Kamanyane (2)
Reabona 1 vs JM Lekgetha 0
Goal:  Petrus Mothobi

About the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup:
·           The tournament is run under the auspices of the South Africa Football Association (SASFA)
  Named after prominent businessman Patrice Motsepe’s late mother, the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup offers the biggest prize money at school level in Africa (R3.4 million in total). 
·           The sponsors are:  Sanlam, the Motsepe Foundation and the Sanlam Ubuntu-Botho Community Development Trust.
·           The primary objective of the tournament is to revive the culture of school football amongst students between the age of 16 and 19 years old.

·           The tournament also gives players the opportunity to showcase their skills to soccer scouts with the talented players being recruited into development structures to be nurtured and shaped into professional players.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

School makes the North West Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial finals for the first time and hopes to win the R100 000 on offer as prize money

Reabona Secondary School of Tweselang Township in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District, will be playing in the North West provincial finals of the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, at the Manokapa Sports Ground, Rustenburg, on 11th September, for the first time.

Mamphia Letsoalo, the team’s coach, has been with them for two years and believes this achievement is long overdue.  “We have been competing in this tournament for a long time with no success,” he said. “We used last year’s failure in the competition as part of our preparation for this time around, and I think we are showing progress.”

Letsoalo believes that one of the problems with his players is self belief.  “We have exceptional talent amongst the players but they lack self confidence and they hold themselves back.  This year I have focused on positivity and self- belief before anything else.  Getting into the provincial final has helped as they now see what hard work and confidence can achieve.”

Reabona won all of their pre-season friendlies, games in the cluster round as well as the regional finals of the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup.

“Having no provincial final experience will not hold us back,” said Letsoalo.  “We have the same chance as the other schools to win the title. We have been working hard and our strategy will be to attack from the first minute of the game until the final whistle.”

Letsoalo started coaching when an injury cut short his playing days short, but has no coaching experience. “I coach out of passion and because I know that we have a lot of talented boys from North West, they just need someone that can be their mentor, someone that will harness their talent and help them reach their potential,” he said.

Letsoalo‘s assistant coach is Solly Olifant, a grade 12 learner at the school who is too old to play in the tournament. “We work hand-in- hand coaching the team and having him has had a huge impact on the team,” the coach said. “Some of the players play with him at the local club so they relate to him and respect him. That’s how I work, I prefer getting assistance from learners because they have the same energy and drive as the players.”

The team faces the challenges that come with the poverty in the area. Proper soccer boots are one of those. “We have to borrow boots for the players that don’t have. It’s a big challenge but we always seem to find a solution. If the school wins the R100 000 in prize money that goes with the provincial title, boots will be a priority.”

The coach believes that sport plays a big role in keeping the kids off the streets and it keeps them fit and healthy. “We need to invest in sport development in schools. We don’t have proper training grounds, my boys are so used to playing on a gravel field that it’s sometimes hard for them to play on a grass field.”

If there is a player to watch, Letsoalo believes it is defender, Nelson Lehutswe. “Our backline is the glue of the team and he plays an important role in it. No one can keep up with his endurance on the field.”

The players have been training with their local teams since the regional finals, and this week they will be training as a team. “We will continue training as we have been training all season and we have faith that we will win the provincials and the nationals,” Letsoalo concluded.

The teams participating in the provincial finals are:
Reabona Secondary School -Dr Kenneth Kaunda District
Sebetwane Secondary School - Dr RS Mompati District
JM Lekgetha Secondary School - Ngaka Modiri Molema District

Matlaisane Secondary School-Bojanala District

Siboniso Dlamini gets ready to play soccer in Brazil in the Danone Nations Cup World Finals.

When Siboniso Dlamini told his friends Simo and Sandile that he will be flying to Brazil to play soccer in the Danone Nations Cup world finals later this year, they thought he was pulling their leg. Overseas travel is not on the agenda of 12 year-olds who live in dusty Emagwini township in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal.

But it’s true. Siboniso and his team mates in the under-12 soccer teams of Siphumelele Primary school will leave for Sao Paulo to represent South African at the world finals from 14th to the 16th November, and it will be the first time any of them will be flying in an aeroplane, much less going abroad.

Siphumelele are the 2014 South African national champions in the Danone Nations Cup competition, which earned them the right to play in the world finals in Brazil.

Siboniso lives with his parents and younger sisters Nokwazi and Mbali and it’s their support, he says that resulted in this opportunity. “My parents are behind me all the time.  They bought me soccer boots when I began playing and my father is always playing soccer with me and teaching me new tricks with the ball.  My sisters look up to me as their older brother and I try to make them proud of me”, he said. His parents are happy that he is getting this experience that they never got.

He joined Siphumelele Primary this year and loves it there. “I love learning and being taught so school work is as important to me as soccer. I am strict with myself when it comes to school work and do all my home work on time. My team mates are my friends at school we hang out together during lunch and play soccer together.”

He started playing soccer at the age of 5. The streets in his neighbourhood are always filled with kids playing soccer. “We all knew the game from watching it on TV, but we didn't understand it very well back then. Now I know the rules and have a better understating of it. I officially started playing this year at Siphumelele when I was chosen for the team.”

Winning the national finals in Gauteng earlier this year will always be one of Siboniso’s happiest memories. “It was the greatest time of life, I didn't think that I would ever travel abroad, especially at the age of 12,” he said. “Most of the other players are also new to the team. We have adjusted well and have grown to become friends on and off the field.”

Sibosino scored one goal at the national finals this year, and is hoping to get more in Brazil. “I love the adrenaline that you get on the field, it's a great feeling, especially when you score a goal,” he said.

He has given the trip a great deal of thought and knows exactly what he wants to gain from the experience.  “I want to learn how to play soccer like the Brazilians, I want to make friends and I want to score at least 4 goals. Our coach Mr Ndwandwe, says he wants us to have fun and enjoy the experience and not to put pressure on ourselves. I know I’m going to learn a lot and look forward to meeting teams from other countries.”

It’s going to be the experience of a lifetime for Sibosino and the boys from Siphumelele Primary. They will return to Emagwini much changed from their taste of the world out there.

Getting to know Siboniso:

Favourite food: Chicken and rice
Favourite music: Kwaito and Gospel
Favourite subject at school: Zulu
Favourite soccer players: Itumeleng Khune and Reneilwe Letsholonyane,
Favourite SA team: Kaizer Chiefs
Favourite international team: Brazil
Hobby: I enjoy jogging, because it keeps me fit and healthy
Favourite movie: The Transporter
What would you like to do after school: Play soccer professionally. If that does not work out I want to become a doctor
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
DNC Partners:


Mondale wins R100 000 as Western Province Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Champions

Mondale High School retained the Western Cape Provincial title in the under-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup tournament, beating new-comers, Desmond Tutu Senior Secondary School 2 - 1 in the final at the Blue Downs Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday.

Both teams progress through to the national finals taking place in Tshwane from 5 – 9 October.

There were great celebrations after the final and Mondale manager, Nigel Crowie, explained that this was the result of a culmination of 6 months of hard work and their ultimate goal was to retaining the trophy.  “I want to commend all 17 players in the squad for their hard work and dedication.”

Crowie believes that they played as a team at the provincial finals and that it was a joint effort. “Our captain, Clinton Herwell led by example. He is a natural leader and good motivator and has caught the eye of the Sundowns scouts,” he said. “Clinton was scouted to attend college in the USA in 2011 but opted to stay in Cape Town and complete his studies.”

But Herwell is not just a footballer. “He is an excellent all -rounder. He is a good academic, a top sprinter and has his colours for Western Cape and Western Province,” Crowie said. “I believe he will go far in his sporting career.”

Another key player at the finals was Dillon Fransch. He played in the 2013 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup national finals and was selected to attend trials at Mamelodi Sundowns but was signed by Ajax Cape Town before he left for the camp and has been there since then.

Fransch says he has improved in leaps and bounds this year since being at Ajax Cape Town.  He travelled to the Netherlands and played in a tournament that was held at Ajax Amsterdam and the highlight of the year was being selected to play for the under-19 national team.

He credits his parents for where he is today.  “I would not have got to where I am now without the support from my parents. They are there behind me every step of the way and watch every game I play in. My dream is to play internationally. I would like to play for Manchester United and only time will tell if I achieve that. In Mitchell’s Plain, where I live, there are many distractions and bad influences, but I am focused on my career and never get involved.”

Mondale coach, Dale Raynard concurs with Dillon on the important role parents play in player’s lives.  “Players such as Dillon and Clinton have the confidence and ability to succeed which emanates from the support of their parents.  Far too often I see talent, be this on the sports field or in the classroom, come to nothing due to lack of support from parents.”

The next step for the team is to go back to Cape Town and focus on their school work as preliminary exams are coming up soon. Only once these exams are finished will they begin preparing for the national finals.

Meanwhile, newcomers, Louwville, might not have got through to the national finals, but the experience has been invaluable to them, according to coach, Sizwe Matomla. “This is our first provincial final experience and we look at it as a learning experience,” he said. “You have to prepare thoroughly to participate at this level, and this includes getting all the player’s papers in order. On the field of play we learnt that it is imperative to communicate with each other perfectly and I believe this is one of the areas that let us down.

Defensive play was also an area of concern for the coach.  “They say the best form of defence is attack and we did not attack well enough. Soccer is a growing sport along the West Coast, which is traditionally a rugby and cricket playing area. We are now playing local soccer leagues and I believe that in a few years’ time we will be a force to be reckoned with.”

Western Cape Provincial Finals Results
Mondale 1 vs Beaufort West 0
Qhayiya 0 vs Beaufort West 1
Qhayiya 1 vs Mondale 3
Louwville 0 vs Thembalethu 0
Semifinals - Mondale 2 vs Thembalethu 0; Desmond Tutu 1 vs Beaufort West 0
3rd  4th playoff - Beaufort West 0 vs Thembalethu 0 (Beaufort West won on penalties)
Final - Mondale 2 vs Desmond Tutu 1

About the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup:
·           The tournament is run under the auspices of the South Africa Football Association (SASFA)
   Named after prominent businessman Patrice Motsepe’s late mother, the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup offers the biggest prize money at school level in Africa (R3.4 million in total). 
·           The sponsors are:  Sanlam, the Motsepe Foundation and the Sanlam Ubuntu-Botho Community Development Trust.
·           The primary objective of the tournament is to revive the culture of school football amongst students between the age of 16 and 19 years old.

·           The tournament also gives players the opportunity to showcase their skills to soccer scouts with the talented players being recruited into development structures to be nurtured and shaped into professional players.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Western Cape School qualifies for the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial final for the first time.

For Qhayiya Secondary School from the Overberg District, Saturday’s (6 September) Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Western Cape provincial final is an opportunity to raise their level of participation in the competition and, hopefully qualify for the national finals for the first time. The six regional finals will battle it out for the R100 000 prize money at the Blue Downs stadium, Cape Town with games kicking-off at 9am.

Nkosinathi Joja the school’s sport coordinator and coach of the team, explained that they have been in the provincial finals every year since 2011, but progressing further than that has been a challenge. “I’m hoping the experience we have playing at this level is going to help us, and we are working very hard to make sure this is our year,” he said.

The coach has put a lot of emphasis on defence in their preparations. “I think that our 2013 failure was due to our defence not being tight enough,” he said. “That’s why this year my main focus has been tightening up our back line and making sure that our defenders are focused.”

In the run-up to the provincial finals, Joja believes, the win over Umyeza Secondary School was crucial. “We had lost to them earlier, but showed in the second round that we don’t go down without a fight. The current team is committed, they truly want to win this tournament for the school and they are willing to put in the extra time to make sure that they do so.”

Having to share the community soccer field to train has been a major challenge to the team.  “We sometimes have to wait our turn to train, but we try our best to make sure that we get in extra training on weekends,” Joja said.

Joja has a level 1 coaching qualification and a certificate in administration. “Getting a qualification has had a huge impact into how I coach, how I set up a team and how I strategise for an important game,” he said. “It’s about going back to the basics to groom a player or a team.”

He is not afraid to ask for help and has brought in some ex-players to assist with the team’s preparations. One in particular, Masixole Nqoshane has been of great help.

“He is a talented mid-fielder who has played for the Western Cape under-21 team,” Joja explains. He has given the players advice on what it’s like to play at a higher level. It helps bringing in someone who is closer to the age of the players, and who used to play for the school, they respect him and what he has to share with them.”

Every year the competition keeps getting tougher and tougher, Moja said and he realises the importance of creating chances and converting them into goals. “Winning our first game at the provincial finals is crucial because it will pave the way for the games that follow. Our strikers have been doing great in the games that we have played leading up to the provincials and I know that they will continue the momentum.”

Moja is wary of last year’s winner, Mondale, who has also qualified for the provincial finals. “They will be coming back to defend their title and will be fighting hard to make sure that they retain it. But we are prepared to fight for what we want and I have faith that my team will win the provincials this year,” he said.

In 2012 the school introduced the Qhayiya School Sports Awards, recognising and acknowledging students that participate in the various sporting codes. Two of this year’s team, midfielder Zuko Jozi – their 2013 footballer of the year – and striker Babalo Mqwayi have received awards in the past. “This inspires other students to participate and be dedicated in their respective sporting codes,” Joja concluded.

Participating Teams - Venue: Blue Downs Stadium, Saturday 6th September
·         Qhayiya Secondary School-Overberg District
·         Thembalethu High-Eden District
·         Beaufort West Secondary School-Central Karoo District
·         Mondale High School n- Cape Town District
·         TBC-Wine lands District
·         Louwville High School -West Coast District

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Upington’s AJ Ferreira High School made history in the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup

Upington’s AJ Ferreira High School made history this weekend. After competing in the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup soccer competition for years, without ever advancing beyond the cluster stage of the tournament, they not only reached the provincial finals, but went on to win and now get to compete in the national finals.

AJ Ferreira beat veterans, Okiep High School 3 – 1 to be crowned provincial champions and the win earns them  R100 000 to be used to fund legacy projects for the school. Both Okiep and AJ Ferreira progress to the national finals happening at the Giant Stadium, Soshanguve from 5 – 9 October and get a chance to win the R1 million first prize.

An exuberant coach, Monty Swaartbooi, was delighted at, what he said, was a long overdue win, but admitted it was also unexpected. “Every year we go into the tournament with the hope of progressing through to the provincials.  This year was different as every member of the team was new to the tournament and I did not think that we would progress very far, so this is a surprise.  The players rose to the occasion and proved me wrong.  I thought that Okiep and Rietvale would beat us because they have more experience and have been successful at this level before.”

Swaartbooi was surprised at how easy it was to get into the provincials. “We only played three games in our cluster and won them all,” he said. “And I honestly thought that we would finish last at the provincials, but I must give credit to my team who showed guts and determination.  We even beat Okiep convincingly in the final game.”

Swaartbooi is not sure what the school will do with their winnings as it will be the principal and the SGB to decide, but he does say they need a proper field and training equipment, and there are lots of broken windows and doors in the school building that also need fixing.

So, now it’s down to preparing for the nationals and Swaartbooi says they will stick to their programme of training four times a week and playing friendlies against local teams on Fridays. 

He also knows that some of the teams at the nationals will be academies and wants to bring in outside coaches to help him prepare tactically and technically. “I coach for the love of the game and have no qualifications and if we are to prepare properly I am going to have to seek support from coaches at our local clubs,” he said. 

Winning the provincial title has been the most rewarding outcome of the coach’s career. “To have finally made it fills my heart with pride.
And it doesn't end with playing soccer. “Another reason I started coaching soccer was to keep the learners away from the bad influences that are prevalent in our community so I also act as their adviser.  I always tell the players to work hard in everything that they do, be it soccer, school work or in their personal lives,” Swaartbooi said. “Putting in the extra work will always bring positive results. They now know and understand why they have to put in 110% into their training.”

Pitso Jantjie 0 vs. Rietvale 2
Bongani 0 vs. AJ Ferreira 2
Rietvale 0 vs. Okiep 0
AJ Ferreira 2 vs. Bongani 0
Okiep 4 vs. Pisto Jantjie 0
AJ Ferreira 3 vs. Okiep 1