Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sukuma Comprehensive school emerge as the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial winners

Pietermaritzburg’s Sukuma Comprehensive School will be going to the national finals of the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup tournament for the first time next month, and they are adamant that they are not going there just to make up the numbers.

Their coach, Xolani Mpungose, said they will be playing their preferred style of moving the ball around, getting the combinations going, and they won’t let themselves be intimidated.

Sukuma earned the right to go to the nationals by beating Ingabade Secondary School on penalties in the final of the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup KwaZulu-Natal provincial final that took place at the Northhdale Stadium in Pietermaritzburg last weekend.  The sides were locked on 2-2 at the end of normal time.

“We won the provincial title not knowing much about our opponents so we didn’t let nerves get the better of us,” Mpungose said. “The nationals will be more difficult – we know there are academy teams there, with professional coaches, but we will not let that affect us.”

Sukuma has been participating in the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup for years with limited success so winning this year has turned the players into heroes at the school.  “The school teachers and pupils have been amazing.  We even held a special assembly for the team just to show them appreciation and to acknowledge their hard work.”

The only school the coach had any knowledge on prior to the provincials was Umqhele, who won the provincial finals back in 2011.  “We were drawn in the same group as Umqhele but managed to beat them 1-0 in our second game, which settled us down and the team began to play the type of football that we have taught them. We always emphasise how important it is for players to work as a team and not play for individual glory,” Mpungose said.

The coach singled out two players who performed very well on the day. “Our goalkeeper, Lindokuhle Lamula, outdid himself on Saturday, I hope that he plays the same at national level, and our captain Mandla Dlamini, was great at centre back and he inspired the team.”

As provincial champions the school won R100 000 to spend on projects at the school and, although the SGB still needs to be consulted, Mpungose feels the funds should be used to purchase computers to offer the students computer science, which is currently not on offer at the school.  “We will run this past the players as well.  Most of them are in grade 12 and will be leaving the school, so we should ask them what kind of legacy they want to leave behind,” he said.

Now, it’s full steam ahead in preparation for the national finals in Gauteng in two week’s time.
“People should expect the same type of football that we showcased at the provincials, team work is very important to us,” Mpungose said. “Hopefully the players will not suffer from stage fright.  We will be playing a lot of practise matches over the next few weeks. We don’t have much time to prepare the team but we will try our level best to make sure that they are good and ready.”

All the schools will be there to win, Mpungose said and they will be working hard to make sure that they achieve that goal. “I want to congratulate the team for their provincial win.  They made me proud to be their coach. The national finals are a learning curve for us, win or lose they will gain something from the experience.”

Sebenzakusakha 0 vs Wembezi 0
Guzana 0 vs Empangeni 1
Umthwazi 0 vs Zwelethu 4
Sukuma 2 vs Reitvlei 0
Ingabade 4 vs Sebenzakusakha 0
Sihle 0 vs Guzana 2
Umthwazi 0 vs Dingukwazi 1
Sukuma 1 vs Umqhele 0
Ingabade 1 vs Wembezi 1
Empangeni 1 vs Sihle 1
Zwelethu 3 vs Dingukwazi 3
Umqhele 0 vs Reitvlei 2
Ingabade 5 vs Zwelethu 0
Sukuma 5 vs Empangeni 0

Sukuma 2 (8) vs Ingabade 2 (7)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bree Primary plays crucial friendly against Wits University Academy in preparation for international world finals.

Preparations for Bree Primary School’s trip to Morocco in October, to represent South Africa at the under-12 Danone Nations Cup World football Finals, are going well.  Based on previous world finals it has been apparent that the South African players have generally been smaller than their opponents, so this year the team has been playing practice games against older, bigger teams so that they can get used to the physical challenge, and formulate tactics to counter bigger opposition.

They played a Mamelodi Sundowns Youth Academy under-13 team last month, and beat them 4 - 1 and this was followed up last week with a game against the Wits University under-13 side.

Bree lost the game 3-2, but showed plenty of tenacity and determination and gained a lot of good experience from the encounter. They rose to the challenge well and did not buckle against a powerful, experienced team.

There were some excellent performances by the Bree players, including goalkeeper Mncedisi and midfielder, Ntuthuko but it was team captain and central defender, Ntando Simayile, who led by example and was their best player on the night.

Ntando came to Bree in 2009 and has played in the Danone Nations Cup for the past two years. He was made captain this year due to his experience and his leadership qualities and is looking forward to going to Morocco.

“I want to watch all the other countries to see how they play and learn from them,” Ntando said. “I want to be a professional player one day and seeing how other countries play and how they prepare for games will benefit me.”

Ntando is very interested in Brazil. “I’m impressed with the skills and speed of Brazilian players,” he said. “They are also usually smaller, like us, yet they cope with playing against stronger bigger players. We can learn a lot from them.”

Bree beat the Sundowns team quite easily, but Ntando said Wits was a different ball game. “They were much tougher opposition and I’m happy with the way the team played. We were aggressive and went in there to win. I hope we get more practise games like that before we leave in October.”

Apart from his professional football dreams, music and dancing is Ntando’s passion and he is hoping to be a DJ one day. His favourite is DJ Zinthle. “I like her voice and the way she mixes music. I listen to a lot of music and much of it could be improved and that is what I want to do. I am going to work on a singing and dancing routine for Morocco.  I have heard that the other countries particularly like the way we dance and I don’t want to disappoint them this year.”

Some facts about Ntando:
His Hero: Hulk – he is big, green, strong, has a fantastic 6-pack, has big hands and is a hero saving people. 
Hobbies: reading and music
Favourite subject: Maths
Football hero: Andile Jali – he is Xhosa, played for Orlando Pirates and now plays in Belgium
Motto: Be disciplined, listen to your coaches, teachers and parents and learn.

Mpumalanga U19 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Provincial Finals Kicking off this weekend

The Under-19 Mpumalanga Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Provincial Finals take place on 26th September at the Themba Sinamela Stadium in Middleburg and will coincide with the Department of Education’s Sports Olympics.

There will be four teams competing for the R100 000 provincial winner’s cheque.  The reigning champions, St Marks School from Nelspruit, will be in action again this year, and competing for their first title will be Sizwakele Secondary School from Secunda and team manager, David Nzima, believes that it is time a different school won the provincial title.

Sizwakele have been playing in the tournament since its inception but have never managed to get to the provincials.  “But we knew we eventually would,” said Nzima.

“We put a lot of emphasis on sport, especially soccer,” he said. “Never did we even contemplate giving up.  We wanted to prove to ourselves that we could get to the provincials one day and this is our day.”

However Nzima knows that the pressure is now on. “Winning through to the provincials also means that we have moved up to a higher level. We need to prepare twice as hard than we did for the district play offs. I tell the boys to put 110% in training and in each and every game that we play in because we don’t know how challenging the other schools are.”

With over 1500 learners at Sizwakeke there is no shortage of players vying for a place in the squad. “Every year we start from scratch and select the u-16, u-17 and u-19 teams. What we look for specifically are players with good technical and tactical skills.  They also need to have the right attitude as well as determination and focus,” Nzima said.

“This year our approach to the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup was different,” said Nzima.  “Training was stepped up a gear and we had plenty of team talks on motivation and getting the players to believe in themselves.  This had a positive result in that we won all eight games we played in,” although he admits it was not easy.

The final week of training will remain as normal but additional games will be arranged.  “We have arranged practise matches against neighbouring schools to get the boys used to playing competitively. We have a brilliant and experienced coach in Mr Joseph Matloung who has been working with the team for 3 years now,” Nzima said.

“Come Saturday we will be ready to face any team and we will not go down without a fight.  We have heard that St Marks has won the tournament for a number of years now, even when they were East High, but we are not afraid of them.  We have nothing to lose and will hopefully cause an upset.”

Participating Teams
·        St Marks School -Ehlanzeni District
·        Sizwakele Secondary School-Gert Sibande District
·        Hoerskool Kriel-Nkangala District
·        Tshepanang Secondary School-Bohlabela District

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

North West school to play in the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup National Finals for the first time.

Tshedimosetso Secondary School of Klerksdorp in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District, are the North West Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Provincial champions.  They beat Itshupeng Secondary School in the final match.  Both teams will go on to play in the national finals in Gauteng from 7th to 10th October.

According to David Lefifi, the team’s manager, they have been playing in the competition since 2013, but have not done very well in the past, until this year.

“Before 2013 there wasn’t much interest in soccer among the boys, so we never formed a team,” he explains. “Then in 2013 my colleague, Sipho Chozi, and I decided to start putting a soccer structure together. At that time the boys were under-16 and they have now progressed to the under-19 age group so they blend well together as a team.”

2013 and 2014 were learning years for them, Lefifi said, but they always believed that they could win one day. “After last year’s competition we went back to the drawing board and starting strategising for 2015 and came back this year with the aim of winning. The level of determination the boys showed was great.”

Winning the provincial title has been amazing, the coach said. “On Monday the boys came to school with their soccer kit and medals, and have been parading around the school. They even went out into the neighbourhood to show the community their medals and the cheque that the school won.”

Lefifi said his approach was the same as last year. “Our training hasn’t changed, but I think the players were more dedicated this year. Even the parents have been chipping in to help with transport to all the games. The level of dedication was unbelievable and I think that’s what made all the difference this year,”

The players showed no signs of nerves at the provincial finals said the coach.  “I guess it’s because we believed in ourselves.  We were not worried about the other teams and our focus was on our own abilities which got us this far.”

One of the sides they came up against was affiliated to the Platinum Stars academy, but that didn’t intimidate them. “We only found out about it on the morning of the games, so it didn’t make much of a difference for us”, Lefifi said. “The games went very well and I believe we were definitely the strongest team on show.”

Tshedimotsetso have qualified for the national finals of the competition now and Lefifi knows that will be a different level of competition.

“We will be treading carefully because we have never been at this level before. I will try to get a professional qualified coach in to help as this will benefit the boys and they will get more knowledge and practical training.”

As provincial champions, the school has been given R100 00 to spend on legacy projects and Lefifi said a lot of people will be involved in deciding on how the funds will be spent. “There are many things that the school needs, but I want the sport department to be looked after because they are the reason why the school has won the money in the first place.”

Keledi 0 vs Itshupeng 1
Tshedimosetso 3 vs Hoerskool Zeerust
Tshedimosetso 2 vs Keledi 0
Itshupeng 2 vs Hoerskool Zeerust 1
Herskool Zeerust 1 vs Keledi 2

Tshedimosetso 4 vs Itshupeng 1

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

KZN to host the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Provincial Finals this weekend

The KwaZulu-Natal under-19 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Provincial soccer finals take place on 19th and 20th September at the Northdale Stadium in Pietermaritzburg where 12 regional finalists will battle it out to win the R100 000 as provincial champions and get the chance to compete in the national finals.

A contender that has been playing in the tournament for five years, and for the first time has managed to win through to the provincial finals is Sukuma Comprehensive School of Pietermaritzburg who will be representing the UMgungundlovu district.

“We have been looking forward to reaching this level for a very long time now and for some of the players this is the last time they will be playing for the school, so it’s important,” said team manager and coach, Xolani Mpungose.

Although this is the first time this team has qualified for the Kay Motsepe provincial finals, they have played at this level in one of the other SASFA tournaments, so the team knows about the pressure that comes with playing at this level, and will be ready.

“The current under-19 team has been playing together since 2012,” Mpungose said. “I am lucky to have a good crop of boys that are dedicated and give 110% in training and in matches. We have been growing every year.”

The journey leading up to the provincial finals has been impressive. The team played 7 games and won them all, conceding just one goal. Their highest score was 8-0 against Mpungose Secondary School in the district finals.

Maritzburg is hosting the provincial finals, so Mpungose expects a big home crowd to be watching them play. “Our plan for the provincials is to capitalise on our strengths, we have to be quick on our feet because we do not have tall players,” he said. “We are not threatened by any school, although we are expecting tough competition and we have prepared for it.”

Mpungose does not see their lack of provincial experience in this tournament as a disadvantage. “Every year new schools come through to the provincials because they have grown from their past failures. We have been preparing for this since 2012.  We have a good team that supports each other.”

“It’s all about preparing the team mentally and physically, we don’t put the team under pressure. At the end of the day there has to be one winner and a lot of losers, we always tell the team to go out there play soccer and they must remember to have fun and take in as much as they can.”

Mpungose does not have any formal coaching qualifications, but did play for KZN University while studying.  He also teaches accounting, Maths and Economic Management Science at the school.
“Soccer has always been my passion. From an early age I knew that I wanted to be associated with soccer, and as a teacher I now have that opportunity” he said.

The teams that will be participating in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial finals are:
Empangeni High School - UThungulu District
Zwelethu High School - UMlazi District
Umqhele High School - Pinetown District
Umthwazi High School - UMkhanyakude District
Dingukwazi High School – Zululand District
Guzana Secondary School - ILembe District
Sukuma Comprehensive School – UMgungundlovu District
Ingabade High School - Amajuba District
TBC-UMzinyathi District
TBC-Sisonke District
TBC-UGu District

TBC-UThukela District

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Western Cape provincial winners go through to the national finals again

Desmond Mpilo Tutu Secondary School are the Western Cape under-19 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial soccer champions after beating Excelsior 1-0 in the final at the Nyanga Stadium on the weekend. 

This means they will be going to the national finals of the competition for the second successive year and they get a chance to redeem themselves after they made an early exit at the nationals last year.

The school were the Western Cape provincial runners up, which qualified them for the nationals, but according to the team manager, Xolisa Nzima their lack of experience cost them at that level and they finally finished in 16th position.

“We were taken by surprise at the nationals last year,” he said.  “The boys did not anticipate how competitive the game was at that level and how fast-paced other schools played soccer.  We saw how much we need to improve if we want to win this tournament, and this year we decided to take what we learnt from last year and come back and redeem ourselves, which is what we have done.”

This year’s team is a combination of old and new players, and Nzima said the older hands have been guiding the young ones.

“They know the ins and outs of this tournament, and are sharing this with the new players. The team has been working very well together and communicating well, on and off the field. They are also more dedicated and focused.  We have a crop of boys that are very talented and they know what they want out of this tournament and they are working towards achieving the goal.”

One thing is for sure, believes Nzima, is that the team will definitely be better prepared.  “We are training at the local gym to build fitness levels, and I have brought in a young assistant coach, Sizwe Jack, who plays for a local team and has been a great help in bringing the team together.”

“Since he took over, we have been qualifying and reaching levels we have never reached before,” Nzima said. “The team is able to relate to him because he’s the same age as them, and the players trust him. He has built a close bond with the team, they respect one another and they get along very well.”

The Western Cape provincials went well, Nzima feels. “Of all the games, I thought that the final game against Excelsior High School was by far the toughest. We managed to beat them, but I think that Excelsior was a much tougher opponent than the rest of the teams.”

As provincial champions, the school has won R100 000 to use to fund projects that will benefit the school and surrounding community. Nzima said they still have to meet to discuss how they will be using it, as there is a lot that needs to be done at the school. He hopes some of the money can be used for sports equipment.

Western Cape Provincial finals results.
Thembalethu 0 vs Beaufort West 2
Ilingelethu 0 vs Qhayiyia 0
Desmond Tutu 1 vs Beaufort West 1
Excelsior 5 vs Qhayiya 0
Desmond Tutu 4 vs Ilingelethu 0
Excelsior 1 vs Beaufort West 0
Beaufort West 2 vs Ilingelethu 0

Final - Excelsior 0 vs Desmond Tutu 1

Youngster goes from playing soccer in the dusty streets of Soweto to representing South Africa in the Danone Nations Cup World Finals

When 12 year-old Wandile Mndebele started kicking a ball around in the dusty streets of Protea Glen he wanted nothing more than to be like his older soccer-playing brother Musa. He followed the customary route of youngsters in the area and joined the local club, Protea Glen All stars, and it was that move that made all the difference in his life.

It led to him being spotted by scouts from Bree Primary School while playing a club game against Mavi Stars in Protea Glen.  Ten months later he is getting ready to travel to Morocco with his team to compete in the Danone Nations Cup World Finals.

The youngster recently played in a game against the Mamelodi Sundowns under-13 development team and was identified by the academy coach as a game maker and, if all goes according to plan, he could be with the Sundowns Academy next year.

Joining Bree Primary has made an enormous difference to young Wandile’s schoolwork as well as his soccer. “My grades are improving, the teachers at the school pay attention to us and we understand each other. I have also gained so much soccer experience because of the number of tournaments we play in. I have played many more games since I came to Bree this year, especially in the Danone Nations Cup and I have enjoyed the interaction with the other kids.”

Wandile is convinced that soccer is the only sport for him now.  He is passionate about the game and knows it will take him far.

“Before I came to Bree I had no idea that they had played in the Danone Nations Cup world finals twice, once winning the tournament,” Wandile said. “I knew that I was going to a very good school that focuses on education and sport, but I never realised they had achieved so much in soccer.”

Winning the national finals meant they achieved what they set out to do at the beginning of the tournament. “We told ourselves that we were going to be the team that brought Bree back into this competition. We worked hard from the beginning and were committed from day one.”

The school’s principal, Mr Kalicharan, and the coach, Bafana, went to France with the 2008 team that won the world title.  They encouraged the team to work hard if they also want to travel overseas to play in the world finals of the tournament.

“Ever since we won the national finals it has been an adventure, I have seen pictures and stories written about us in the newspapers, we have watched a live game between Sundowns and Bidvest Wits, and we have had fun.”

“My brother and mother have been very supportive. My brother was the first person I told when we won the nationals.  He is now 26 years old and is the father figure in my life since we lost out dad a few years ago and still helps me with my game.”

Going to Morocco will be the highlight of Wandile’s life so far. “I want to meet players from other countries especially Germany and Argentina; Germany because they won the FIFA World Cup in 2014, and Argentina because of Lionel Messi. He is an incredible player and I one day hope to play just like him,” Wandile said.

“We are under pressure because the last time Bree competed in the World Finals they won so a lot of people will be expecting a win from us and we have to work 10 times hard to make sure that we don’t disappoint them.

 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

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Platinum Stars Academy Players help Rustenburg school reach the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup North West Provincial Finals

Rustenburg’s Keledi Secondary School has qualified to play in the North West Uunder-19 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial finals in their first year of entering the competition.

The finals will be held at the Montshiwa Stadium in Mafikeng on Saturday 12th September and Lawrence Sedumedi, the team’s manager, is confident that they will proceed from there to the national finals in Soweto from 7th to 10th October.

Keledi is the school that the players in the Platinum Stars Academy attend and that, according to Sedumedi has made all the difference.

“We have 17 players that are part of the academy, the partnership with Platinum Stars started last year and since then it has been growing tremendously,” he said. “We have Kobamelo Kodisang, an attacking midfielder who has been selected for the under 17 national team that will compete in the under 17 FIFA World Cup coming up between the 17th October to the 8th November, and Charles Baloyi an exceptional midfielder who also plays for the under 17 national team.

“We have always been a school that takes sports seriously, but having the backing of Platinum Stars academy has really boosted the schools performance in soccer.”

Sedumedi said that, while he knew about the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup before, his previous teams were not ready for it. “Last year was the first time the players from Platinum Stars joined us.  I didn’t want to put them under pressure so decided I would use the year to build the team. I wanted to enter this tournament with a strong team and I believe that I have one now,” he said.

Last year’s programme included many friendly games as preparation and Sedumedi feels they are ready this year.

“It’s a huge achievement to qualify for the provincials in our first outing in the tournament,” he said. “There are teams that have been playing since the tournament started who have never reached this level.”

The team is a young one, made up mainly of 16 and 17 year-olds, so they will all still be around next year. “I wanted a team that will play for two years for the school, not having to start afresh every year,” Sedumedi said.

The players are experienced as they play for the Platinum Stars Academy in ABC Motsepe League and SAB Castle League. So they are used to the pressure of high level competitions and that should be to their advantage, Sedumedi believes.

“They have excelled so far, but I knew that they would. They have worked very hard preparing for this tournament. We are just waiting for the 12th September to come so that we take the title, and then focus on the national finals. That’s where we see ourselves, we want to be in the nationals and compete for the national title.”

The teams participating in the provincial finals are:
Hoerskool Zeerust-Ngaka M Molema District
Tshedimosetso Secondary School-Dr Kenneth Kaunda District
Keledi Secondary School-Bojanala District

Ithuteng Secondary School-Dr R Mompati District

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Western Cape Provincial Finals Kick-Off

The months of gruelling qualifiers will culminate on Saturday, 5th September at the Nyanga Stadium with the six Western Cape regional winners battling it out to be crowned the under-19 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial champions.  The winner takes home R100 000 and both teams that play in the final match will compete in the national finals taking place in Gauteng from 7th to the 10th October.

The teams that have qualified include:  Thembalethu Secondary School (Eden District), Qhayiya Secondary School (Overberg District), Ilingelethu Secondary School (West Coast District), Beaufort West Secondary School (Central Karoo), Excelsior High School (Cape Town) and the Winelands district is still to play their finals.

Excelsior and Qhayiya are not new to the provincial finals having made it this far a couple of times, but for Ilingelethu Secondary School not only is this their first time competing in the provincials but they are competing in the tournament for the first time as well. 

Coach Mfundo Nyunguza came to the school this year and he has made it his mission to build the soccer teams and enter as many tournaments as possible.

“The school did have an under 19 team when I can but it was not competitive.  I have started afresh and select new players,” he said. “The boys responded well and we now have an under-17 and an under-19 team,” he said.

It’s been a great experience for the boys, although so far things have been relatively easy admits Nyunguza. “We didn’t play as many games as I thought we would (6 in total), and I think the real challenge start now in the provincials. We are inexperienced at this level and there is a lot at stake as all the schools will be fighting for the provincial title.”

They don’t really know what to expect, Nyunguza said. “So we will be taking each phase as a learning curve and we hope to soak in as much information as we can for next year.”

Winning the regionals was a huge achievement for Nyunguza personally. “I never thought that I would lead the team to victory especially as this is my first year with the team,” he said. “This has proved to us that if you set your mind on something and put in 100 percent effort you can achieve anything.”

The entire school was surprised to learn that the team had qualified for the provincials for the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup. “They are behind us all the way and we truly appreciate their support, but they are not putting any pressure on the team to win the provincials,” Nyunguza said.

Preparations for the provincial are now underway, with the team training 3 to 4 times a week.

“Luckily we have our own field, even though it’s not in good condition, but at least we don’t have to worry about finding a ground to use,” Nyunguza said. “Another plus is that the boys play for local clubs, so if we don’t train after school, we know they will be training there.

“It’s good for them to be coached by different coaches who have different techniques and methods. What they learn from me they can also learn from their local coaches, which is a win-win situation.”

First timers win the Northern Cape Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Provincial

The under-19 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup Northern Cape Provincial Finals took place last weekend and it was Groblershoop High School who emerged victorious after beating Weslaan High School 2 – 1 in the final match. Both teams will be representing their province at the Nationals in Soweto from 7th – 10th October.

This is the first time that Groblershoop will be going to the nationals in the 10 years that they have been playing in the competition and the team’s manager, Leon Cloete, puts it down to the school’s changing into a soccer school from a rugby-playing one.

“Rugby was the main sport played,” he said, “but more and more boys are choosing soccer now so we have changed the focus. We still play rugby, which is not a bad thing because our players are very fit, and our backs are all big strong boys who also play rugby,”

The team has worked very hard for this achievement, Cloete said. “We have challenges when it comes to scheduling training as some players live very far from the school and transport is a problem. Sometimes I have to drop the players off at home after training. But we are all dedicated to the cause and did everything we could to ensure that this year we would qualify for the nationals.”

The win was made even more special when a representative from the Department of Basic Education as well as the sports coordinator from their district came to the school to congratulate the boys and wish them well for the national finals.

As provincial winners, Groblershoop has been granted R100 000 by the sponsors, the Motsepe Foundation and Sanlam, to spend on legacy projects at the school and, although the School Governing Body will have to sit down to discuss how it is going to be used, Cloete would like to buy portable soccer goals for the rugby field that they train on.

Hard work and being focused is what Cloete believes let the team to success. “The team was focused from the beginning.  We were in the same group as Okiep, who are experienced in this competition.  We played them twice, drawing the first game and managing to beat them 2-0 in the second game, which gave the team confidence.”

Then it was Weslaan in the final and, thanks to goals from strikers Ruwey Bosmon and Brandon Scheepers, they managed to win 2-1. “It was a team effort though, every player worked very hard,” Cloete said. “Both teams deserved to be in the final. I am happy that we will be taking two strong teams to the nationals and hopefully one of us at least makes it into the semi finals.”

Now it’s down to hard training. “The nationals will be a new experience for us so my focus will be on keeping the boys fit as we will be playing up to three games a day, building confidence and fine tuning skills.”

Remmogo 1 vs Weslaan 1
Groblershoop 1 vs Okiep 1
Weslaan 3 vs Tetlanyo 1
Okiep 0 vs Groblershoop 2
Tetlanyo 2 vs Remmogo 2

Final - Groblershoop 2 vs Weslaan 1