Friday, May 27, 2016

Eastern Cape's Barkerville Junior Secondary School to now compete in the Danone Nations Cup National Finals

Barkerville Junior Secondary School from UMzimvudu in the Eastern Cape will be going to the Danone Nations Cup national finals in a few weeks’ time with the goal of winning the national title and having another chance to prove themselves at the competition’s world finals in France later in the year.

They get this chance after beating Ngubethole Bam Junior Secondary School  2 – 1 in the Eastern Cape provincial finals that took place last weekend.

They went to the world finals in Spain in 2011 as the national champions and for coach, Mpilo Changa, the experience he gained there has changed his approach to coaching that he believes will stand them in good stead at the nationals.

“The world finals taught me a lot, particularly in the scoring department,” he said. “The team from Germany, specifically, taught their kids to score from anywhere. In one game, one of their players received the ball on halfway, with his back to the goal. He controlled the ball, turned and stuck it in the back of the net. Those are the sorts of skills you need to succeed at that level.”

This team may not have as many talented players as the one that went to Spain, Changa said, but they are stronger physically, and they play as a team.

“They pass the ball well and I want to see them sharing the ball and show composure in front of the goals,” he said. “They can keep possession but at the same time they must pass to players in the gaps so that they have the opportunity to score.”

South African football is about dribbling and attacking opponents, Changa says. “We need to pass more and create opportunities.”

In preparation for the national finals, the coach intends organising as many friendly matches as he can. “We will be playing against local opposition in our neighbouring towns. I am going to make them physically fitter but I also want to work on the mental side of the game. I want my kids not to be afraid of the opposition. They must learn to trust and believe in themselves.”

There are two players that Changa is expecting big things of.

Bunathi Khala is a gifted left-footed player, which makes him a natural left winger. “He is good at cutting in from the wing and dribbling towards to the goal and creates goal scoring opportunities.”

Sindisa Pheyana is a striker, with a powerful boot who is very strong for his age. “In Sindisa I have a natural player who has the ability to hold possession and turn with the ball. There are few players who can do that. He needs to improve on his accuracy. There will be games where he will not have many opportunities to score, so he needs to take advantage of any chance he gets,” Changa said.

The Danone Nations Cup world finals taught the players a lot, Changa says. “We learnt about different cultures and we learnt about the importance of communication. We watched how teams like Japan managed to meet and communicate with the other teams even though they could not speak all that much English.

“We also learnt that there other ways to play football and that players from other countries are just as passionate about the game as we are.”

Having gone to the world finals in Spain will definitely give the team an advantage over the other teams in the national finals, Changa believes.

“We have seen what it takes to get there and we know how good the overseas teams are. We need to lift our game if we want to win the national finals and if we want to do better in the world finals than we did the last time around.”

Game 1: Debera JSS 0 vs. Gcinubuzwe CS 3
Game 2: Ben Nyati PS 0 (0) vs. Ngubethole Bam JSS 0 (2)
Game 3: Barkerville JSS 2 vs. Maruping PS 0
Game 4:  Debera JSS 0 vs. Ben Nyati PS 3
Game 5: Gcinubuzwe CS 0 vs. Ngubethole Bam JSS 2
Game 6: Maruping PS 0 (1) vs. Guqaza JSS 0 (2)
Game 7: Ngubethole Bam JSS 1 vs. Debera JSS 0
Game 8: Ben Nyati PS 2 vs. Gcinubuzwe CS 0
Game 9: Guqaza JSS 0 vs. Barkerville JSS 1
Final Game: Ngubethole Bam JSS 1 vs.  Barkerville JSS 2
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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Western Cape schools gear up for the Danone Nations Cup Provincial Finals

The schools that will be playing in the under-12 Danone Nations Cup Western Cape provincial finals have emerged from the province’s process of local area and district matches, and will be in action at the D’Almeida Stadium in Mosselbay on Saturday, May 28th, kick-off at 10am.

Up for grabs, along with the Western Cape title, will be the opportunity to play in the national finals of the tournament in Boksburg on June 25th. The national champions that are determined there will go to the Danone Nations Cup World Finals in Paris, France in October this year.

There will be six regional winning schools competing, one being The Garden Route Primary School from Mosselbay, who will have home ground advantage.  They started playing in the tournament in 2005 and this is the first time they have made it to the provincial finals.

Most of the players, according to the coach, Msingaghi Geja, also compete in local clubs which is a benefit as they have experience in competitive football.   His key message to the players prior to this weekend is to remember they are a team and to play as such.

He has no coaching qualifications and is a teacher at the school and has been both teacher and coach since 2005.  His key player, Abulele Stuurman, is not with a club but is an accurate striker scoring 5 goals in the 6 games they played. He is a great motivator and very good at creating scoring opportunities.

Zwelihle Primary School in Hermanus, representing the Overberg district will also be in action on Saturday.

The school has been participating in the competition since 2009, and in 2011 they went to the national finals as Western Cape champions, making it as far as the semi-final stage.

Their coach, Sivuyile Mghoboza, has been with the team since 2012. He is an external coach who specializes in youth coaching in the area after qualification through the Department of Arts and Culture’s Federations and Club Development programme. 

He has a SAFA Level 1 coaching certificate.  “It is very important for coaches at youth level to have some sort of coaching qualification behind them.  It is valuable in helping deal with young children and teaching them at an early age the laws of the game, good habits, controlling of the ball and communication skill among the players.”

He played for Home Destroyers Football Club in the local league in Hermanus before his work with the Department of Arts and Culture took up too much of his time and he decided to focus on youth development.

Two members of the 2011 team were scouted by the School of Excellence. Baxolele Malnjana, the captain and Sibusiso Sanda, the goalkeeper, are both in Grade 11 doing well in both football and academics.

“We obviously want to win the provincial title this year,” Mghoboza said, “but I also hope that more of our players will be scouted and recruited to play for of teams such as the School of Excellence or the Sundowns Development so that they can get an opportunity to excel and grow in their soccer careers.”

Cloetesville Primary of  Stellenbosch will be representing the Winelands district. This is the third time they have reached the provincial finals – they went through in 2009 and 2014 as well.

Roger Cupido, the team coach pointed out that the school is well known for producing good soccer players at all youth levels and have won many tournaments over the years.

“The Danone Nations Cup is an amazing experience for under-12 players,” Cupido said. “It has brought a lot of excitement to the school. Although the school is in town, many of the learners come from disadvantaged homes in the surrounding rural areas, and tournaments like this bring them a lot of joy and hope.”

Cupido has been coaching at the school since 2008. He is highly qualified in youth coaching after obtaining a SAFA Level 1 coaching certificate as well as a Level 1and 2 coaching qualifications from the Royal Netherlands Football Association.

The schools participating in the Danone Nations Cup Western Cape provincial finals are:
Central Karoo district: AH Barnard Primary School
Eden district: Garden Route Primary School
Overberg district: Zwelihle Primary School
Winelands district: Cloetesville Primary School
West Coast district: St Helena Bay Primary School
Cape Town district:  Encontsheni Public School


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Eastern Cape School soccer teams play for a chance to go to France to compete in the Danone Nations Cup World Final

The under-12 Eastern Cape Danone Nations Cup provincial finals will take place at Laerskool Kuswag in East London on Saturday May 21st.  The champion will join the other eight provincial winners in Gauteng on June 25th to compete in the national finals.

The prize for the national winner is a trip to France in October to compete in the world finals with 31 other nations.  A school that is not new to competing internationally is Barkerville Primary School, from the rural Mount Frere district.  They won the national title in 2011 and went to the world finals in Madrid that year.

They are through to the provincial finals this year and their coach from then, Mpilo Changa, is still with the team. He is so hoping the team gets to go overseas again he has enlisted the help of the then teacher, now principal of another school, Siyabonga Marawu.

“Once his schools  was knocked out of the competition, he agreed to use his experience to help us,” said Changa.  “He runs a local club team and many of our players play there, so he knows them well.”

 Changa said that the trip to Spain was an eye-opener and has changed his approach to the game which has helped the entire community.  “What struck me the most was the high standard of football and the size of the 12 year-olds in other countries. They were equivalent to our 16 year-olds. Much of that is hereditary, but it also has a lot has to do with their diet, something Danone is trying to address here via the Danone Nations Cup.”

The level of skills as well as the vast experience and confidence of the players was also noted by Changa.  “When I got back to our community, the first thing I did was to start a local league. It was clear that we do not play enough competitive soccer. The boys from the other countries were more composed and their skills and techniques were polished. We only play during school for a couple of hours a week. So I decided to set up a structure where the boys played more and were more competitive.”

So he began the uMzimvudu Local Development League to improve the level of soccer in the rural areas. It consists of the age groups 11 to 15.

“In the early stages of developing young players they need to play soccer on a regular basis so that they can improve their fitness level and techniques,” he said.

Joining Barkerville at the provincial finals is Gcinubuzwe Combined School.

They are in the provincials for the first time. Their coach, Mzoxolo Williams, is a volunteer at the school. In 2015 he attended a workshop organised by the National Youth Development Agency, and run by a Germany organisation called Sports for Change. This workshop gave him insight into development and how to work with children, he said.

“I would love these kids to go to France,” he said. “International exposure is excellent for kids. This is basically the World Cup for under-12s and the future Lucas Radede and Benni McCarthy will be there.”

They will have to get past Barkerville first. Williams acknowledges that they will be their main opposition at the provincial finals.

The participarting teams are:
Alfred Nzo: Barkerville Junior Secondary School
Amathole: Ngubethole Bam Junior Secondary School.
Chris Hani: Debera Junior Secondary School
Joe Gqabi: Maruping Primary School
OR Tambo:  Guqaza Junior Secondary School
Sarah Baartman: Gcinubuzwe Combined School
The winner of the Nelson Mandela district will be determined during the week.

DNC Partner:

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Mthethomusha Primary School book their spot for a chance to go to France to compete in the Danone Nations Cup Word Final

Mthethomusha Primary School of Pietermaritzburg are the 2016 KwaZulu-Natal under-12 Danone Nations Cup soccer champions and they will be going to Boksburg on June 25th  to compete in the national finals, for the right to represent the country at the World Finals in France later in the year.

They won the title at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Durban last weekend, beating Ophuzane Primary in the final game following a day of playoff matches between the province’s district champions.

Musa Memela, the team’s coach, said the KZN provincial final was fiercely contested. “The standard of football was high, but that was expected considering how many professional players have come from the province,” he said.

There were plenty of goals scored, which is unusual in these games which are just 20 minutes long.

In the end, Mthethomusha played a structured game, worked well within the space, passed and dribbled well and managed to score the goals required. Their skills were exceptional and they scored a total of 22 goals throughout the tournament. 

“We won all our games at circuit level,” Memela said, and managed to beat our nemesis, Mophela Primary in the regional finals. We lost to them at that level last year, which meant we didn’t make the provincial finals.”

Memela was part of the Maritzburg United FC development team between 2003 and 2009, and when he didn’t manage to break into the first team he gave up playing and decided to focus on youth development.

He started his own team for kids between 10 and 17 and three years ago he was approached by the school to assist them.

Ahead of the national finals Memela believes it’s important to stress that the players stick to the team’s mission. “During the provincial finals, particularly in the early games, the players all wanted to be in the spotlight and they forgot the team’s overall goals. I had to give them a stern talking-to before the semi-final and they came out playing like demons.”

Now, he will be arranging as many friendly games for the team as possible. He will also pit them against local soccer clubs where the level of football is high.  All the boys also play for his club side, so he has plenty of access to them and they will be training together there as well.

Dinuphuzo Primary 0 vs Sipheni Primary 1
Ithaka Primary 0 vs Sindawonye Primary (red/white) 1
Sinaye Primary 2 vs Delihlazo Primary 1
Kasturba Gandhi School 6 vs Dumile Primary 0
Sipheni Primary 0 vs Ophuzane Primary 5
Sindawonye Primary 0 vs Zandile Primary 3
Delihlazo Primary 0 vs Mthethomusha Primary 3
Dumile Primary 0 vs Inkunzi Primary 3
Ophuzane Primary 4 vs Dinuphuzo Primary 0
Zandile Primary 1 vs Ithaka Primary 2
Mthethomusha Primary 1 vs Sinaye Primary 0
Inkunzi Primary 1(2) vs Kasturba Gandhi School 1(1)
Semifina1 1- Ophuzane 2 vs Inkunzi Primary 0
Semi-final 2 - Mthethomusha Primary 3 vs Zandile Primary 0
Final - Ophuzane Primary 1 vs Mthethomusha Primary 3
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