Wednesday, April 25, 2018

First school qualifies for the Free State Danone Nations Cup provincial final

Free State is hosting the second under-12 Danone Nations Cup provincial final scheduled to take place at Grey College in Bloemfontein on 5th May where five schools will contest for a spot in the national finals. The ultimate winner will compete in the world finals happening in Spain in 2019.

Tshediso-Xolani Primary School is the first to qualify and will represent the Fezile Dabi district. The school first entered the tournament in 2008 and this is the first time they have ever reached the provincial finals.

The school is situated in the rural town of Tweeling with 1206 learners. Mokoena, who teaches Sesotho and English at the school, has been coaching the team since 2008. He attributes his success this year to getting his SAFA level one coaching qualification, obtained through the Department of Basic Education in 2016.

“The course was aimed at coaching youth and how to prepare and better train them from a young age.  I have since developed better tactics which was the answer to our success this year,” said Mokoena, who also says he has a stronger team than in previous years as many of his players also compete at local club level.

The key player in the team is the captain, defender/midfielder Mokwining Tsotesi.  Although he is competing in the Danone Nations Cup for the first time, he also plays for the All-Star Football Club. “He has great ball control and is always looking for opportunities to score goals. He scored 9 goals during the regional finals,” said the coach.

Mokoena says he is nervous about the provincial finals as this will be the first time that the school has gone this far in the competition. “We aren’t sure what to expect but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The Fezile Dabi regional finals took place on the 14th of April at Nelson Mandela Primary School. Four schools participated: Nelson Mandela Primary School, Dibaseholo Public School, Voorwaarts Primary School and Tshediso-Xolani Primary School.

The games were played in very hot conditions, which was a challenge, admitted the coach.  Their first match was against Dibaseholo Public School and both teams were exhausted within 5 minutes. It ended in a 3-all draw. The second match was against Voorwaarts Primary School. The players were more relaxed at this point and the weather had cooled down. Tshediso- Xolani won 3-1
The final game was against the hosts Nelson Mandela Primary School. It was their best game. The Nelson Mandela players failed to communicate during the match and seemed to get frustrated with each other. Tshediso- Xolani were able to beat them 6-0


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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Northern Cape Danone Nations Cup provincial final ends with first time winner

Lutzburg Intermediate School of Kakamas became the first school to qualify for the National Finals of the under-12 Danone Nations Cup soccer competition when they won the Northern Cape Provincial title in Upington.

It was a historic occasion for the school and its community as no school from the region has ever gone this far in any soccer tournament and the community came out in numbers to meet and celebrate with the team.

Coach, Chestlan van Wyk, explained that the town they live in is very small and the school itself only has 338 learners, so to have got this far is very exciting.

“It was a difficult day as the tournament was extremely competitive,” he said. “Playing at this level is very different from playing at cluster level among the schools in your area. The games were all closely contested.”

Their final game, against Aggeneys, was decided in a penalty shoot-out, which was tough for the boys, Van Wyk said. “They beat us on penalties in the league game earlier in the day, so it was just reward for us to then go on to beat them in the final.”

The next step for the team is preparing for the national finals. “We will continue to train as we have been,” said Van Wyk. “We will concentrate on keeping possession, running with the ball, passing and scoring goals.”

They will be keeping an eye on the tournament on Facebook to see who their opponents at the national finals will be

“It’s going to be very exciting for the kids to travel to Joburg to play soccer, it will really be a treat for them,” Van Wyk concluded.


Kareeville Primary School 3 – 0 Hoerskool Vaalrivier
Gaegake Primary School 1 (5) – 1 (4) Aggeneys in penalty shoot out
Lutzburg Intermediate  School 2 – 0 Kareeville
Hoerskool Vaalrivier 1 – 2 Gaegake
Aggeneys 0(4) vs 0 (3) Lutzburg in penalty shoot out
Kareeville 0 – 2 Gaegake PS
Hoerskool Vaalrivier 0 – 2 Aggeneys
Gaegake 0 vs 2 Lutzburg
Aggeneys 1 – 0 Kareeville
Lutzburg IS 1(2) - 1(1) Hoerskool Vaalrivier in penalty shoot out
FINAL: Aggeneys Primary School 0 (2) - 0 (3)Lutzburg Intermediate School in penalty shoot out

Free State will host the next provincial final at Grey College on Saturday, 5 May.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Two Northern Cape schools to participate in the Danone Nations Cup provincial finals for the first time

The under 12 Danone Nations Cup Northern Cape Provincial Finals will take place at the Mxolisi Dicky Jacobs Stadium in Upington on 14th April and it’s going to be a unique experience and a big step up for most of the young footballers.

In the nature of age group sport, players in the Danone Nations Cup move on each season and coaches try to build their teams around the experience of the few players who are still young enough to play in more than one tournament.

It is therefore not unusual to find different schools appearing in the provincial and national finals each year as it depends entirely on skills and the team combinations.

As a result, the provincial finals often feature schools who are making their first appearances at that level and that’s certainly the case with two of this year’s Northern Cape provincial finalists: Gaegake Primary School of the JTG region, and Lutzburg Intermediate School of the ZFM region.

Gaegake, from Maruping Village, Mothibistad, will be competing in provincial finals for the first time, a great achievement for the school that only started participating in the Danone Nations Cup last year.

Their manager/coach is Gilbert Mabihi, the school’s deputy principal. He has a CAF D coaching license and is therefore well qualified for the job.

The school began its preparations in October last year as they didn’t want to repeat their 2017 experience when they started way too late. Friendly matches were played to ensure they were ready for the cluster level stage of the competition as well as the regional final, where they won all four games played.

Mabihi is a firm believer in sport as part of the educational process. “The lessons they learn from soccer, particularly the importance of goal setting, focus, hard work and resilience are also important for their academics,” he said.

Lutzburg Intermediate School based is based in Kakamas and their coach, Chelsen van Wyk, explained that they have been competing in the Danone Nations Cup for three years, but this is the first time that they have progresses beyond the cluster level.

Unlike Gaegake, neither Van Wyk, nor his manager, Jacob Basson, have any formal coaching qualifications, but they have been coaching the school’s under-12’s for the past 3 years and they are delighted to have advanced to the next stage of the tournament. “This is part of a process which we believe will help us win the Northern Cape title,” said Van Wyk.

There were 7 schools in the ZFM regional playoffs with Lutzburg beating Vaalkoppies Primary in the final. Vaalkoppies had won all their games leading up to the final by big margins, so beating them was a morale-booster ahead of the provincial finals.

Another great achievement for the youngsters was beating the historically strongest team in their region, Laerskool Kakamas in the cluster stage of the competition. “This is the first time we have ever beaten them,” said Van Wyk. “It was not an easy road to the provincials but we have done our homework and feel confident that we have the trophy in the bag.”

Four of the five regional champions in the province, who will contest the finals, have been identified. They are:
JTG region - Gaegake Primary School
ZFM region - Lutzburg Intermediate School
Namakwa region - Aggenys Primary
Francis Baard region - Vaalriver Combined School
The winners of the Pixley is still have to be determined

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