THE 2014 school year has begun, which means planning for the busy year ahead is underway. High on the agenda of thousands of schools around the country is getting their entries into the biggest schools football tournament in the country, the under-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe
Schools, in on time.
Schools will be eyeing for the R3.4 million on offer in prize money as well as getting their key players the exposure to scouts to help take their soccer careers to the next level.
Registration is open and there are many benefits to schools entering. In the initial stages the competition provides the opportunity to play well-organised competitive football against the schools in regions and, for those who progress further, there is the chance of winning financial support for projects in their schools and communities.
For individual players with exceptional talent, there is the opportunity to take their soccer career to the next level.
The success stories of 2013 highlight the fact that the competition places a premium on the educational side of schooling. This is illustrated by Mamelodi Sundowns’ policy applying to their development programme. No student in their development structure can progress into the first team unless they pass Grade 12.
So, for example, Percy Tau, the leading goal-scorer at the 2013 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup National Finals, who was originally from Phakama Combined School in Witbank Mpumalanga and passed Grade 12 at Clapham High School, is now with the Sundowns first team.
Mamelodi Sundowns ran a training camp in December last year to which talented players identified at the 2013 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup national finals were identified. One player was Lugiano Knopp from Okiep in the Northern Cape who has now passed Grade 12 and will join the Sundowns second division team and will enter the Elite Player program which enables the youth players to train with the senior team on a regular basis.
Kabelo Mabasa (Harmony), Jason Skipper (Cloetesville) and Tani Mpusana (Louis Botha) – have been offered contracts to join the Sundowns development academy. They will all go to Clapham High School to complete Grade 12 and will play in the Sundowns under-19 team in the 2nd division.
Reginald Tsoela (Harmony) was impressive at the camp and will join the club’s SAFA 2nd Division team and enter a FET college, along with Fumani Mathebula (Eric Nxumalo), who passed matric and will enter tertiary education at a college.
There are also a number of players who came very close to be selected and who will be monitored over the next 6 months. They are: Gian De Jongh (Okiep), Elton Kapinga (Benny Sports) and Sive Klauhse (Executive Academy).
There are also a number of players that will join other PSL clubs such as 16 year old Dillan Fransch. He was offered a contract with Mamelodi Sundowns but opted to remain in Cape Town and has joined Ajax Cape Town.
Registration opened January 16 and closes on March 17