THE Ekurhuleni District in Gauteng kicks-off their road to the under-12 Danone Nations Cup world cup scheduled for Morocco later this year, when the eight participating schools meet at Benoni Northerns on April 15. The winning team will progress through to the regional finals taking place at Benoni Northerns on May 14.
Competing teams are: Farrarmere Primary School, Rynfield Primary School, Tom Newby School, Benoni West Primary School, Summersfields Primary School, Laerskool Verkenner, Laerskool Westwood and Kathstan College
The school that is tipped to win is Farrarmere Primary, who was beaten on penalties by Siphumelele Primary from KZN, at the national finals in 2014 and missed the opportunity to play in the world finals in Brazil.
They are back again this year, with a new coach, and are determined to go one step further this time.
“The year has started well for us,” said Coach Moeketsi “Pride” Moorosi, former Orlando Pirates professional player. “We know all the schools we will be playing against and we have already won a prestigious tournament this year so the cluster games should be smooth sailing for us. We are confident that we will be progressing to the next level in the tournament, but from then onwards we will be challenged.”
Gauteng is one of the most competitive provinces, the coach said, so meeting up with the schools from the other districts will not be easy, but he has faith that they will reach the provincial and national playoffs in the tournament.
“Positivity, focus and self-belief are key principles to a winning team, but I also instil the importance of having fun and enjoying every game. I tell my players that losing only means that you have to work extra hard next time around,” he said.
When the players found out that Moorosi is an ex-professional player, this made them even more hungry to become professional players themselves. “I try to be humble and grounded,” he said. “My history is my history and as a coach my job is to help these youngsters create their own history in football.”
Although Moorosi doesn’t like singling out individual players, he is excited about his captain, Trent Van Der Walt. “He plays centre back, he leads the game and the team,” he said. “He will go places in soccer should he decide to make a career out of it. He also plays rugby and I hear that he is good at it too.”
Last year Farrarmere had a lot of support from the parents and the coach hopes it will be the same this time around. “We believe in parent participation, it’s crucial for the kids,” Moorosi said. “The parents support the school in every way possible, they raise funds for the school, they pretty much support us in everything we do, so we are expecting parents at all our games cheering the boys.”