AS Free State champions, Credo Primary School of Sasolburg will be travelling to Reiger Park on 28th June
to play in the national finals of the under-12 Danone Nations Cup soccer tournament.
The school represented the Fezile Dabi district at the Free State provincial finals at the Clive Solomon
Stadium in Bloemfontein and beat Maqheleng Primary School 1-0 in the final to take the title for the first time.
And for the first time since the inception of the tournament in 2000 the coach and manager of the
winning team is a female, Mrs Dikeledi Sothwane.
“This win has been long overdue. After years of participating in this tournament, finally we have achieved
our goal and from now on we are expecting only positive results,” she said.
Credo lost 2-0 to Maqheleng when the sides played each other in the league earlier in the day, but that
loss didn’t faze the players but rather served as a motivation for when they met again in the final, said
Sothwane believes their win proves that hard work and believing in your dreams does pay off. “I am a
proud coach,” she said. “What I introduced this year is daily meetings when I get to evaluate the team’s
psychological state and see where their minds are. Coaching is not just about physical training and skills,
it’s also about developing players mentally and psychologically which helps build confidence.” she said.
Credo’s preparation ahead of the provincial finals consisted of an intensive training programme – training
five times a day and playing a friendly game against the school’s under-14 soccer team every Wednesday.
“These friendly games improved their level of fitness, plus I wanted the kids to get used to playing
against taller opponents,” Sothwane said. “And we will continue to train like this as we build up to the
Sothwane identifies 11 year-old attacking midfielder, Itumleng Taute, as a key player in the team.
Itumeleng saw competing against other schools from different regions as a learning experience. “I saw
how other teams approach soccer and this will help me as I know that the level of competition at the
national finals will be very different and we need to play even better that we did at the provincials.”
Itumeleng also plays for a local team, Play United. “We train three times a week and I get the
opportunity of being coached by another coach who also teaches me different skills. Both my coaches are
important in my life and are helping me develop into a better player,” he said.
He knows that the eventual winners of the national title will be going to Brazil to play in the Danone
Nations Cup World Finals. “Brazil has perhaps the highest standard of soccer in the world and has
produced famous soccer players,” Itumeleng says. “I want to be there and see how they play soccer first