The Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup national finals were held in Soshanguve last month and the players in action were closely observed by scouts from Mamelodi Sundowns who, in the end chose the 24 most talented individuals on view and invited them to attend a training camp at the club’s Chloorkop headquarters between the 28th November and the 5th December.
It’s going to be an exciting time for the youngsters, and an opportunity for them to show that they are ready to step up into the professional ranks.
Siyabonga Masinga, a 19 year-old central mid-fielder who is in grade 11 at Tholokuhle High School in Richards Bay, is one of those selected and sees this as a great opportunity, one that not everyone has been given and he said he is grateful that he was selected.
“I have never attended trials or a camp before so this is a first for me. I knew that scouts would be at the nationals and selecting a squad to attend trials so, prior to leaving KZN, I decided that my primary goal was to be selected for this camp and I put in 110 percent effort in every game I played and it has paid off,” said Siyabonga
“I was really excited when the Sundowns scout, Mr Mdletshe, called my team manager and asked if I would be interested in coming through and I agreed on the spot. It’s every players dream to be invited to attend a camp that is hosted by a professional team especially when it’s Mamelodi Sundowns. The team is known to produce great players, I want to be associated with that team.”
Only 4 players from Tholokuhle were selected for the training camp and they are all looking forward to learning new tactics and techniques at the camp. “As a player you need to always develop your skills and I think that’s what they will be teaching us during the camp,” said Siyabonga. “At the end of it all I will be selected to be part of their Youth Academy, it would be an honour to be a part of Sundowns. I know that their players get the best of everything in terms of training and nutrition, which are key in a player’s development.”
For Siyabonga, Themba Zwane is his favourite Sundowns player. “He is an incredible player, I would one day love to play just like him,” he said. “If we do get an opportunity to interact with the first team I would definitely want to speak to him and pick his brain a little.”
After being knocked out in the cluster stages of the tournament for years, making it to the final game at the nationals was a major achievement for the team. “We beat schools that have been participating in this tournament for years,” Siyabonga said. “It’s unfortunate that we lost the final game to Holy Trinity High School. I guess that some of the players got nervous when they learnt that we will be playing against players that compete for the Supersport United Academy.
“But we are thankful that we reached the finals, it was never something that we were expecting since we started in the tournament. Even though we didn’t win, we now have the experience to better prepare for next year.”
“We came as underdogs in this tournament and ended up being 2nd in the rankings. We tried our best and next year will be an even greater year for the school.”
NAME PROVINCE SCHOOL
Lucky Monyane Limpopo Benny's Sports Development
Ernest Monyadziwa Limpopo Benny's Sports Development
Trevor Kutu Free State Harmony High School
Mpho Phalakasane Free State Harmony High School
Victor Noosi (attended the 2013 camp) Free State Harmony High School
Sibusiso Sibandana Mpumalanga St Marks International School
Xolanni Ndlovu Mpumalanga St Marks International School
Mzwakhe Mncwango KZN Tholokuhle High School
Siyabonga Masinga KZN Tholokuhle School
Nkanyiso Zungu KZN Umqhele High School
Gilbert Motlokolo Free State Harmony High School
Dillan Fransch Western Cape Mondale High School
Clint Herwell Western Cape Mondale High School
Thabang Chiloane Limpopo Benny's Sports Development
Vusi Mnguni Free State Harmony High School
Tebogo Mokoena Free State Harmony High School
Hemaxzwi Mtshidzi Limpopo Benny's Sports Development
Thabani Mnguni KZN Umqhele High School
Lwazi Mtshali KZN Tholokuhle High School
Denovan April Northern Cape Kakamas
Denovan V Ryn Northern Cape Kakamas
Damyn Smith Northern Cape Kakamas
Jay Cee Meyers Northern Cape Hope Town
Thathani Nkosi KZN Tholokuhle High School
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.