BY today (February 24), most of the 2013 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial winners have already registered to compete in the tournament again this year and the playing fields are equal as most will compete with teams of which the majority will be new players. Title holders and Gauteng provincial champions, Clapham High School, as well as Benny’s Sports Academy from Limpopo believe their new recruits will do the job for them again this year
“We have lost six players from last year’s group,” said Rhulani Mokoena, who will remain as coach of the team. “But we have a number of players who will be making their debuts for us including Ntando Ngubane, an 18 year-old striker in grade 11, who originally comes from KwaZulu-Natal, and Motjeka Madisha, an 18 year-old defender in grade 11, originally from Limpopo.
Both play for Sundowns in the Vodacom League. The experience the boys get from competing in the League sets them apart from the rest of the players as they compete against good clubs from which they can learn.”
The coaching department will be boosted this year with the inclusion of Mike Manzini who has a successful career playing for Sundowns from 1995 to 2009 and played for Bafana Bafana in 1999. “Sundowns have given me additional assistance which will also help us in our quest to retain the title,” said Mokoena.
Limpopo provincial winners for the past three years, Benny’s Sports Development Academy, has also registered to compete again.
“As soon as the first term starts each year one of the first things we do is register for the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup,” said David Mufamadi. The school has been successful in the tournament since 2010. “We have won the provincial finals three times and the R300 000 we won has made a significant difference to my school. We have new sports equipment and have renovated our school hall, entrance and the hostels. We plan to defend our title this year and go a step further and finish in the first four positions.”
Being a business owner comes with responsibilities and challenges. “Sanlam is the best sponsor for this tournament as we are all aware of what the company does (long term insurance) and we are reminded all the time that we should be investing in our futures,” said Mufamadi. “I encourage all my students to think entrepreneurial so that they can go out and open their own
business like I have done.”
Benny’s has only four players from 2013 still in the team. “With 10 new players the pressure is on. Although they have experienced playing in tough competitions, playing at the under-19 level is challenging as the style is more aggressive and the pace is fast. They need to adapt to this quickly hence our training has already started,” said Mufamadi. Like Clapham, Benny’s has
identified their stickers as playing a key role in their team this year.
Registration closes on March 17 and the South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) is encouraging all schools to contact them and register and get a slice of the R3.4 million on offer in prize money.