Benny’s Academy are Limpopo’s DNC champs

Benny’s Academy will represent Limpopo in the national championships of the Danone Nations Cup

Benny’s Sports Development Academy are the 2018 under-12 Danone Nations Cup Limpopo champions. They beat Kgagudi Primary School in the final in Polokwane last weekend to advance to the national finals where they hope to emulate the school’s 2016 team who won the national title and represented the country at the world finals in France where they finished 16th.
The team is coached by Mbishi Mokwena, who was also the coach when Benny’s won the nationals in 2016. The school also made the national finals in 2015.
Those 2016 players, who are now in the high school, attended the provincial finals to support and motivate the 2018 players. “The trip to France for the world finals has completely changed the boys,” said Mbishi. “They are more confident both on and off the field and I am hoping that this year’s team will have the same opportunities”.
Although they managed to win on Saturday, the coach believes any school could have won the tournament as they were all strong and it was not an easy ride. “My coaching strategy leading up to the national finals will focus on rectifying the mistakes we made last weekend,” he said.
“The biggest concern was the strikers. They missed a lot of scoring opportunities. I think they were nervous because it was the first time the boys had ever played in a tournament of the magnitude of the Danone Nations Cup”.
Mbishi stresses that the hard work has only just begun. “Most of the players have never been to Johannesburg so, as well as getting them prepared tactically and technically, we also need to educate them on the enormity of the city to prevent them feeling overwhelmed.
“They need to understand that, no matter who they face, they must believe in themselves and match the standard as they will come face to face with some excellent teams.
“Nutrition is also important. We grow our own vegetables at the school and we will ensure that the boys eat a well-balanced diet, including Nutriday yoghurt, to ensure their energy and stamina levels are high as they will be playing quite a few games in the final”
He is arranging games against local clubs and older age groups to prepare the team as best he can
“It was interesting to note on the weekend that there were some excellent players on display. They should be put into soccer academies so that they can be groomed,” Mbishi concluded.

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