Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sandton School registers for the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup again!

2015 will be Sandtonview School’s second year of participating in the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, sponsored by Sanlam and the Motsepe Foundation.  Coach, Thabani Nyathi, had no hesitation when it came to entering the team again this year because he believes the interaction and exposure that comes with playing competitive soccer is an important educational experience for the boys.

The school is playing in the Johannesburg East cluster of the Gauteng provincial competition and their matches begin on 14th April. They will be competing against schools such as Wendywood High School, Holy Family College, Northview High School, Athlone Boys High, Queens High, Jules High and Barnato Park High.

“In the past we participated in our local schools league only, but last year we decided that the school should play in the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup,” Nyathi said. “In this way the players get exposed to tougher competition and to other schools with exceptionally skilled players. We see it as a learning curve.”

Last year the school was knocked out early in the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup but the coach says he learnt a lot. “Academics is a priority of the school so I can only select players from Grade 11 as the Grade 12’s need to focus on Matric.  This has resulted in me having to select a completely new team this year.  I have some really skilled players and I believe we can go all the way to the nationals.  I have been concentrating on physical conditioning and we are now moving on to individual skills and techniques.  The final stage is tactical awareness and then we will be ready for the tournament.”

Nyathi is well qualified for his role. After years of playing soccer at amateur level he decided to go into coaching. He has an advanced level 4 coaching qualification, a diploma in sports management, a cricket umpiring certificate and an athletics coaching certificate.

“I am very passionate about sport in general hence I want to be qualified in different sports,” he said. “I believe that knowledge is power and as a coach you need to be able to back your experience with a qualification.”

He likens coaching to academic teaching. “Coaching is the same as teaching because at the end of the day you need to transfer your knowledge to the players and the only way of measuring your success is by the results that they show on the field. I think that being a teacher is an advantage, because you use the same mechanisms you use in class on the field.”

Nyathi draws inspiration from the fact that he can make a difference in the player’s lives. “I am also inspired by coaches from all over the world. Locally I look up to the likes of Gavin Hunt and Gordon Igesund and internationally it’s Alex Ferguson and, especially, Jose Mourinho. He started off as a teacher as well and I see myself following in his footsteps”

Team work is what Nyathi put emphasis on.  “We win and lose as a team.  After games I never focus on a single player and I boost their confidence levels all the time.  During a training session I do give credit to players that give 100%. Before every game I have words of encouragement, during half time I tell them what they did great and what they need to focus on. I applaud them when they play well.”

Nyathi is an ambitions coach. “The next step is to become a fully fledged professional coach, I want to coach PSL teams and I also want to unearth talented players and make them the Teko Modises of the country. I want to give these players the chance of playing professionally.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Nelson Mandela Primary moves a step closer to the Danone Nations Cup World Finals

Sasolburg’s Nelson Mandela Primary School is the 2015 Danone Nations Cup Free State champions!  They beat Toka Primary from Moteo District, Bloemfontein, 6 – 5 on penalties after neither team managed to score during regulation time at the Clive Solomon Stadium, Mangaung on the weekend. 

So, they will be going to Reiger Park in Gauteng on the 27th June to play in the National Finals. It’s not the first time that the school will be there - in 2014, when the school was called Credo Primary they were also the Free State champions. The school’s name was changed to Nelson Mandela Primary in October last year.

The team’s coach is Mrs Dikeledi Sothwane – a woman who has guided her team to two provincial wins in a row in the competition. She says words cannot express how she feels about the win. “We came into the tournament believing that we will retain the title and did exactly that,” she said.

The team lost their first two games at the provincial finals, but Sothwane said they didn’t let that deter them. They reviewed those games, strengthened their defence, and came through.

Mofulatshepe Primary School, the Free Sate provincial champions from 2009 to 2011, were the team to beat and Sothwane told her team that they were the current champs and that Mofulatshepe last tasted victory a long time ago so they have nothing to be scared of.

“We ended up beating them 1-0, and even though it wasn’t easy, I knew that if we beat that school, we can beat anyone,” Said Sothwane.

The school is fielding a fairly new team this year as there are only 4 players back from last year.

Sothwane, an Orlando Pirates supporter and one day is hoping to be an assistant coach of the national women’s team, has been coaching all the school teams for the past five years.  “The school didn’t have a soccer coach so I volunteered and have been there ever since.  I coach the u-9, u-12, u-13, u-14 and the girls soccer team as well,” said Sothwane, who gains all her knowledge from reading books, attending coaching clinics and watching as many games as possible on television.

Sothwane believes that playing sport is crucial in a child’s development.   “I have noticed that kids that play sport are more confident and can express themselves better in class.”

She has a strong bond with her players and that is the secret of their success. “The players see me as a mother figure and I think that has worked well for us, I listen to their suggestions, they are comfortable with me as I am with them, and that has been working very well for the team.”

Thoriso Primary 0 (0) vs. Toka Primary 0 (2)
Matswathaka Primary 0 (2) vs. Mofulatshepe Primary 0 (3)
Nelson Mandela Primary 1 vs. Inoseng Primary 0
Thoriso Primary 0 (3) vs. Matswathaka Primary 0 (2)
Toka Primary 1 vs. Mofulatshepe Primary 0
Nelson Mandela Primary 0 vs. Thoriso Primary 1
Inoseng Primary 0 (2) vs. Matswathaka Primary 0 (1)
Toka Primary 2 vs. Nelson Mandela Primary 0
Mofulatshepe Primary 1 vs. Thoriso Primary 0
Inoseng Primary 0 vs. Toka Primary 3
Matswathaka Primary 0 vs. Nelson Mandela Primary 2
Inoseng Primary 0 vs. Mofulatshepe Primary 2
Toka Primary 0 (3) vs. Matswathaka Primary 0 (4)
Thoriso Primary 1 vs. Inoseng Primary 0
Mofulatshepe Primary 0 vs. Nelson Mandela Primary 1

Toka Primary 0 (5) vs. Nelson Mandela Primary 0 (6) 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thaba Jabula from Pimville, Soweto is preparing for the 2015 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup

Preparations have begun for Thaba Jabula Secondary School from Soweto, Gauteng, after registrations closed this week for the 2015 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, sponsored by Sanlam and the Motsepe Foundation.  

The school represented the Gauteng province at last year’s national finals, and the team’s manager/coach, Cassius Mpati, says they have been hard at work, preparing for this year’s competition.

The school competes in the Pimville Cluster in the JHB North Region and the first games will be played at the Nike Centre on 24th April.  So far they have played 2 friendly games, and are planning on playing a few more before the tournament starts.

“We still have time to prepare the team, and the teams that we will be playing against in the cluster don’t scare us,” he said. “We are used to playing against them and have beaten them before and I have no doubt in my mind that this year will be the same.”

The school has lost 5 members of last year’s team, who have either finished school, or are now too old.

So a number of under-17s have come up into the under-19 team. “We have also taken in 3 new players, Happy Mashiane, Thato Tshabalala and Given Thibedi who are from the Kaizer Chiefs Academy,” Mpati said. “They are from Tembisa and Kaizer Chiefs has moved them to Soweto so that they could be close to where they train with the club.”

Thaba Jabula School is close to the Nike Centre where the Chiefs Youth Academy practices.

Mpati started his career as a player, which has helped him in his coaching career.  “I have been where my players are so I can talk from experience. It’s not something that you can learn from a book,” he said.

A successful coach needs to relate to his players, believe Mpati.  “A coach needs to be able to understand his/her players at all times. Being able to take yourself down to the players’ level is a good thing because it shows that you care for them and their needs,” he said.

Mpati teaches English and Life Sciences at the school, so finding the time to coach is a challenge. “Sometimes I am swamped with academic stuff and I cannot make training, so I have had to ask for assistance from an external local coach, Zakes Khumalo.

“Zakes helped us from the provincial level upwards last year and this year we decided to bring him on board at the beginning of the tournament so that he can start prepping the team the way he wants to.” Said Mpati.

Every year the school holds awards for teachers and students, and for two years in a row Mpati won the best teacher of the year award, and also the Sportsman and Team Manager of the year awards.

“It feels great to know that one’s efforts don’t go unnoticed.  Winning these awards also makes me want to do more for my students and my team.”

The team did not do as well as they wanted to at the national finals last year, but the experience did them a lot of good. “I think that stage fright got the better of them,” Mpati said. “That’s one thing that a coach cannot prevent. A team can train and play 50 games to prepare for a tournament, but that still does not guarantee that they will not get nervous.

“That’s what happened last year. We got nervous and lost all our day 1 games. We bounced back and finally drew 0-0 against Holy Trinity, the other Gauteng team in the finals.  They went on to win the tournament and the R1 million to go with it.”

Northern Cape Primary School eying the trip to Morocco

Northern Cape is yet to produce the winning school that will represent South Africa and compete in the under-12 Danone Nations Cup World Finals, and Keidebees Intermediate School of Upington in the ZF Mgcawu District are hoping they might be the one to achieve this goal – but first they have to emulate their 2012 provincial win to get them through to the national finals.

They take their next step on the road to that dream when they line up for the Northern Cape provincial finals at the Xolisile Dicky Jacobs Stadium in Upington on Saturday 28th March.

Hendrick Matthys, their team manager, explains that they represented Northern Cape during 2012 Nationals Finals.  They did not compete in 2013 and last year they were knocked out during the cluster stage last year.

“This year again we are through to the provincials and it’s a great feeling knowing that what we have worked hard for is paying off,” he said. “From the get-go the boys have taken this tournament seriously, they have been focused and determined to make it to the provincials.  They have had a lot of support from the entire school which has helped build their confidence as half the battle is won when the kids believe in themselves,” Matthys said.

The coach is manager Hendrick Matthys’ cousin Sylvester Matthys, who was brought in as an external coach two years ago.

“I end up getting swamped with a lot of school work, so I cannot always focus on the team, so we brought him in,” Matthys explained. “And it certainly has been a great idea as, because of him the under 12 team is going through to the provincials this year. He does not have a qualification in coaching, but he knows the game very well and the kids have grown fond of him and his style of coaching.”

Their strongest opposition is no doubt going to be Northern Cape defending champions, Roodepan Primary.

“I know that they will defend their title no matter what, but we are also not going to back down,” Matthys said. “We are not scared of any school, but we do know that when we meet up against Roodepan it’s not going to be an easy game.

Matthys said the current team is filled with good players, but there is one who stood out during the regional playoffs. He is 11 year-old winger Tristan Mans who scored 4 magnificent goals.

“He is an all-rounder, he can attack, defend and score. He has ben outstanding in every game we have played so far,” said Matthys

Matthys is full of praise for the sponsor, Danone. “It’s because of sponsors that these kids end up being discovered, and because of sponsors that these kids are healthy and active. I congratulate Danone for getting involved in school sports, these kids need tournaments like this.

Participating teams:
ZF Mgcawu District- Keidebees Intermediate School
Pixley District- Van Rensburg Primary School
Francis Baard District- Roodepan Primary School
John Taole Gaetsewe District- Rapelang Primary School

Namakwa District- Dr Izak Van Niekerk Primary School 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Road to the Danone Nations Cup World Finals has begun in the Northern Cape

The under-12 school that will represent the Northern Cape at the Danone Nations Cup national finals will be known on Saturday, 28 March, when the six regional finalists battle it out at the Xolisile Dicky Jacobs Stadium in Upington.  The ultimate prize is a chance to compete against 31 other nations at the World Finals taking place in Morocco.

Last year’s provincial champions, Roodepan Primary School, are back in action for the second time and according to team manager Enricho Chapman, winning the provincials again this year is not going to be easy.

“It helps that we have won the provincials before, and some of our players will have the experience of competing at the national finals, but we know how tough and competitive the provincials are.  We do not know the strength of our competitors but we know for sure that all the schools will be looking to take our title and we need to do everything possible to make sure that we defend it,” he said.

This year the team has a new coach, Christopher Jafta. “He has an introductory coaching qualification, and has been coaching for 10 years,” Chapman said. “I think getting an external coach was a great move for the team.  He is putting 100% into coaching as opposed to getting a teacher at the school to coach the team. Since he took ever at the beginning of the year we have seen dramatic improvements with the team as a whole. The boys are more structured and uniform now, compared to previous years where they were all over the place.”

Chapman said that managing and coaching a team, especially a younger team is challenging. “The boys are still in the development phase. Every year we have to start from the basics. Most of the players might know how to kick a ball but that does not mean that they know how to play soccer.”

Preparations for the provincials started as soon as they started playing their cluster games, Chapman said. “Every game we play in this tournament is preparing us for the next level. Currently we train 5 times a week. We won’t be playing any friendly games prior to the provincials as we don’t want to risk any injuries a week before the provincials.  The boys know what is expected of them, they want to go to Gauteng and represent Northern Cape just like last year.”

Chapman believes that having a happy team even if they lose or win, makes the tournament much more fun and exciting. “We need to make sure the kids understand that it’s not always all about winning, but about making new experiences, meeting new friends and exploring new places they have never been to before.”

This year’s team is inspired by the excitement they saw from the 2014 side that went to Gauteng for the national finals. “I know that some of the kids have never been outside of Northern Cape, so I know that they will enjoy travelling with their team mates to another province,” Chapman said.

It also helps to tell the players that when they get to the provincials in Gauteng they will be able to eat as much of the Danone products as they like.

“Not many companies plough back to the communities that support them the way Danone has. They are giving these kids the chance of being discovered by scouts and a chance to travel around South Africa and internationally I am very thankful to Danone for getting involved in sports and makings sure that our kids stay active and healthy.”

Participating Teams
ZF Mgcawu District - Keidebees Primary School
Pixley District - Van Rensburg Primary School
Francis Baard District - Roodepan Primary School
John Taole Gaetsewe District - Rapelang Primary School

Namakwa District - TBC 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Free State team hopes to win the Danone Nations Cup provincial title

Free State’s Clive Solomon Stadium, in Bloemfontein will host the first Danone Nations Cup provincial final on Saturday March 21st to determine which school will represent the province at the national finals later in the year.

The schools participating are:
Motheo district - Toka Primary School, Bloemfontein
Fezile Dabi district - Nelson Mandela Primary,Sasolburg
Xhariep district - Mofulatshepe Primary, Smithfields
Lejweleputswa district - Thoriso Primary School, Hoopstad
Xhariep district - Inoseng Primary, Petrusburg
Thabo Mofutsanyane district - Matswathaka Intermediate School, Qwa-Qwa

Thoriso Primary School manager/coach, Mr Finger, explained that the school qualified for the provincial finals in 2008, the first year that they entered the competition, and have been knocked out at the regional stage every year since then.

“This year we managed to overcome the regional finals,” he said. “It’s been long and I know that it won’t be easy for us but I trust and believe that my team will do whatever it takes to make sure that we win the provincials.”

Finger said that these players are very young and still have to learn the game, so he didn’t focus on their technique when he chose them for the team, he looked at the passion that a player has on the field.

“Once I see that in a player, then I can start teaching them about technique, space and passing. It’s important for a coach to have the ability to spot a passionate player; having players that are passionate makes your job a whole lot easier, because they will take your teaching seriously.”

Finger has been coaching since 1996 when he started at Thoriso and coaches the u-12, u-13 and u-14 teams. He does not have a qualification, but has experience as a player as well as a coach. “I believe a coach needs to have some form of qualification in order to be great and I plan on getting one soon,” he said.

“I believe communication is key when it comes to coaching, You need to build trust between yourself and your players and the only way to achieve that is through communication. Players need to know and trust that you have their best interests at heart all the time, you need to be there for them every step of the way.”

Patience, especially when you are coaching kids younger than 14 years old, is vital said Finger. “Their attention-span is not long, so you constantly need to repeat drills. Some kids are able to remember from the 1st take and others need to be taken through the drills over and over. That takes patience.”

Thoriso did very well in the regionals, especially in the final, the coach believes. “We played against Letsibolo, who had won one of their previous games 4-0. We were afraid that they might bury us. That final game was competitive and we managed to win 1-0. Scoring that one goal was not easy at all. I’m hoping that the players have the same attitude at the provincials on Saturday.”
Finger says the boys are excited to be travelling to Bloemfontein. “We are from Tikwana a rural area in Hoopstad, so a lot of our kids never get a chance to travel within Free State, or outside of it. If we win the Provincial title we could go to Gauteng. How I inspire the team is to remind them that every time they move up in this tournament they get a chance to travel and see places they have never been to before.

Regional playoff results
Bronville 0 Thoriso 0 (Thoriso won on penalties)
Tikwe 1 Loboneng 0
Kegomoditswe 1 Bronville 1 (Kegomoditse won on penalties)
Letsibolo o Tijwe 0 (Letsibolo won on penalties)
Thoriso 0 Kegomoditswe o (Thoriso won on penalties)
Loboneng 0 Letsibolo 4
Final – Letsibolo 0 Thoriso 1

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:



Registration closes and Gauteng school is ready for action

Registration has closed for the 2015 edition of the Under-19 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, sponsored by Sanlam, the Motsepe Foundation and the Ubuntu-Botho Trust, and schools that have registered will now start competing in their various clusters.

The Kay Motsepe Schools Cup has become the foremost youth talent identification tournament in soccer in the country and the role that schools attached to the development academies of professional clubs cannot be underestimated.

A case in point is Clapham High School of the Tshwane North District in Gauteng, which was one of the first schools to register this year and houses the school-going players who are in the Mamelodi Sundowns Youth Academy.

The 2015 under-19 team will comprise of seven of last year’s players that are still at the school and it will be bolstered by 5 new recruits and team manager, Ngwato Petje, explains that not all their players are associated with Mamelodi Sundowns.

Keamogetswe Ledwaba comes to the school from Benny’s Sport Academy in Limpopo. He plays for Edu Sport FC in the SAB League and, according to Petj he is star quality and is definitely someone to look out for during the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup this year.

Clapham are former winners of the competition, but they were knocked out at the provincial finals last year and are keen to make amends for that. They were one of the first schools to register for the 2015 tournament and are eagerly waiting for the cluster level games to begin.

The team will once again be coached by Mike Manzini. “Last year was the first time Mike coached the team and he did a good job with the team even though we ended up being knocked out of the tournament,” Petje said.

“He has obviously learnt a few things from last year and I believe that he has prepared the team better this time around to ensure positive results.”

Petje is looking forward to seeing how the new players fit in. “They are new to the schools and will be new to this tournament but luckily we still have 7 previous players that can share their experience with them, overall the team is doing well and they get good quality training.

Preparations are going well said Petje.  “We have played 5 friendly games already and we obviously want the team to be familiar with each other and for them to see if there are any adjustments that they need to improve upon. The Mamelodi Sundowns Academy team will be playing in the final against University of Pretoria in the Multichoice Diski Challenge and that’s the basis of the team that will be participating in Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, along with the non-Academy players.”

Petje admits that it wasn’t easy to accept defeat last year as the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup is the biggest schools soccer tournament and every school wants to be successful in it. “The loss showed us that we need to work twice as hard as other teams in order for us to win again. The tournament is getting tougher and tougher and becoming more and more competitive each year.”

Gauteng is by far the most competitive province, Petje said, and they are not under-estimating any team they will meet.

“Of course our main rivals are the defending champions, Holy Trinity. We have to take back the title from them and should we meet up with them it won’t be an easy match. Neither team will go down without a fight,” he said

As 2013 champions, Clapham won R1 million in funding for the school and they are in the process using the funds to build two new classrooms and a life skills centre.  They are awaiting the Department of Education approval of the site they have identified.

Registration for the 2015 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup has closed and the 2015 Free State Champions are preparing for their first games.

Registration for the 2015 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup has closed and 2014 Free State champions, and the most successful school in the tournament over the past five years, Harmony High School of Virginia, are hard at work preparing for their opening cluster level matches, and determined to represent the province at the national finals once again this year.

Harmony coach, Pitso Mokoena, has been with the school since 2008 and has guided them to two national titles – in 2008 and 2011. He sees that 2008 victory as his greatest achievement. He didn’t have a lot of time to prepare that year and injuries meant that they played in the national finals with just 12 players in the squad.

“Winning the 2011 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup was easier” he said. “I think that the 2011 team was the best team I have coached. They were talented and they made my job very easy.”

This year Harmony will play with a completely new team.  The entire under-17 team that won a key knockout tournament in 2014 and also participated in the SAB Regional League has been promoted and they will join seven of last year’s under-19 players.

“All are currently training together, but we will select the best players for the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup and it does not necessarily have to include last year’s players,” he said.

“We also compete in open tournaments and leagues to give the players experience with teams other than schools as they grow and learn this way.”

In the cluster phase of the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, the team will be playing against local schools, but Mokoena said they will not underestimate them. “Every year teams grow, they have new talented players and there’s no guarantee that Harmony will win every year.

“But we try to be optimistic,” he said.  “We have always represented Free State in this tournament and we know that other schools in Free Sate are gunning for the title and are working hard to make sure that they get that title, we don’t take competition lightly. Local rivals HTS Louis Botha are a very strong team and they are the team that could well give us a challenge. In 2013 they took the provincial title away from us for the first time and they will be a threat again this year.”

Mokoena’s coaching philosophy is based on hard work and a good relationship with his players. “Soccer is an ever-evolving sport and as a coach you need to develop your skills by attending coaching clinics, getting more qualifications and equipping yourself with what’s current,” he says.

“You also have to be a father figure to the players. You need to build and maintain relationships with all your players. You need to be open to being a father/mentor to them, so that they can be open to you in return.”

For Mokoena the biggest challenge is having to deal with the players’ attitudes. “You sometimes have players that think that they are the best thing that has happened to the team; they tend to be egotistical. As a coach you need to be able to bring down those egos. I try to make it a team problem which needs to be resolved as a team.”

As for his own future, Mokoena believes the nexst step is coaching PSL teams. “I look up to the likes of Rulani Mokoena (former coach of Mamelodi Sundowns Academy), he started with the junior team and he is now the assistant coach for Mamelodi Sundowns first team. That’s my next step, I want to start with a developing team in the PSL and take it to greater heights. I give myself plus minus 3 years to reach that level.”

Before then, there are those cluster games, beginning on 18 April with their first opponent being Marematlou Secondary School.

“I believe that giving praise to a player or a team inspires them to be better next time; I always congratulate a player if they played a good game. In that way I build their self-esteem and empower them to do better next time, that’s how I inspire my players for the challenges that lie ahead,” Mokoena concluded.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Limpopo School progresses in the 2015 Danone Nations Cup

Benny’s Sports Development Academy of the Vhembe District, Makhado in Limpopo are about to enter the inter-circuit phase of the under-12 Danone Nations Cup soccer competition and, under new coach, Mbishi Mokoena, they are confident of going far in the competition this year.

Benny’s have been playing in the tournament since 2010 and only once – in 2013 – did they get as far as the district finals.

What has changed this year is the school has appointed a specialist coach to take care of the junior players (in the past they had one coach for all the age groups).

Mbishi Mokoena will take care of the under-12, under-13 and under-14 teams at the school, and has already made a difference with the under-12s, who won their zonal games quite easily, scoring seven goals in one of them.

The new coach has been impressed with his players so far. “Andries Mokgwethega has scored 3 goals out of the 8 the team scored so far, and we also have Tshimagatdzo Mokwevho. He only scored 1 goal but he assisted other players to score. I believe that those players will take the team to the nationals,” he said.

Mokoena believes passion is the key to being a successful coach. “Coaching is not just instructing players on the field, it’s about building and maintaining a relationship with different players,” he said. “You need to have the heart for it.”

Skills and experience are also required. “You need to have experienced playing soccer in order to be a coach. You can’t teach players something you don’t know about.”

While this is Mokoena’s first time coaching the under-12 team, he has done his homework before entering the Danone Nations Cup.   “I had the opportunity of watching last year’s under-12 team play and I noticed that they lacked the basics and the team was all over the field with no structure. This year we have gone back to the basics of soccer. The team has since grasped the concept and I have definitely seen a change in them. “

The challenge for Mokoena is the different roles he has to play. “The players are all boarding at the school and don’t have their parents around them, so I have to be a father figure to all of them at the same time. It’s an adjustment for me, but I am gradually getting used to the fact that I have to play different roles to the boys.”

Mokoena said the reason he got involved in coaching was to develop and nature young players’ talents and he wants to be known for developing some of the best players in the world. “I don’t see myself coaching a PSL team, I see myself coaching internationally recognised academies. 10 years from now I still want to be focussing on the development phase in soccer, coaching u-13. I believe that age group is open and willing to learn as opposed to older players who think they know everything about soccer “

Mokoena got his players to Google the Danone Nations Cup Soccer Tournament to find out more about it and to see what it is they are playing for.

“When they saw what last’s year’s winners experienced, it got them more and more excited about winning this tournament. I think that Danone is doing a great job in giving these players a chance to travel to in different parts of the world and to play a sport that they love.”

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

Mpumalanga’s Eric Nxumalo benefits from Kay Motsepe Schools Soccer Cup prize money

The Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, sponsored by the Motsepe Foundation, Sanlam and the Ubuntu-Botho Trust, is the biggest soccer tournament in the country, reaching far beyond the field of play by making a massive contribution to education via the legacy projects that are funded by the prize money awarded to the provincial champions each year.

One of those, Eric Nxumalo High School from Thulamahashe was the Mpumalanga provincial champion in 2013, and was granted R100 000 to spend on educational and sporting projects in their community.

The official unveiling of the projects, which included the upgrade of the soccer pitch, replace broken windows and doors and tracksuits,  took place at the school recently and in attendance were representatives from Sanlam, The Motsepe Foundation, the SA Schools Football Association (SASFA) and the Department’s of Sport and Education.

At the unveiling the coach, Canon Simango, said the school has already registered for the 2015 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup tournament, and they are ready to start playing their cluster games.

The school still has 3 players from the successful 2013 team in their ranks: Enock Lebesi, captain Sydney Moyane and Leonard Nkuna, who have the experience and skills to help motivate the other players and set an example which will hopefully take the team to the national finals again.

Moyane in particular will prove dangerous on the field this year.  “He was part of the team that went on a training programme to Brazil in 2009 and he has improved dramatically and I believe he has the skills to help any PSL team,” said Simango.

Simango says the team has been training hard, at their local clubs, as well as with the school’s under-19 team.  “I would love nothing more than to win more money so that we can make even more improvements to the school for learners that will be attending it in the years to come,” he said.

Photo Caption:

Back row: (from left to right) Mr Sithole L.R. Deputy Principal , Mr Dennis Madondo, Mr Simango C.C Coach, Ms Wendy Ndlovu, Mr Mashele P. Principal,  Mr Mahlalela S. E. ,
Front row: (from left to right )  Leonard Nkuna,  Hlawulekile Moyane,  Enock Ubisse.