BREE Primary School, who will be representing South Africa in the Danone Nations Cup world finals in Morocco in October, will be taking with them a gifted Goalkeeper, Mncedisi Nguse. According to Mamelodi Sundowns scout, Mandla Mazibuko this youngster will make a positive contribution to the team.
“Overall the team has pretty good players, but Mncedisi is one special keeper. He has pure natural talent and with great coaching and having him in a good development structure I can see him playing for the national team one day,” said Mazibuko, who attended all the provincial finals as well as the national finals of the tournament.
Mncedisi comes from a family of great footballers. “My older brother Njabulo Nguse, who is also a goalkeeper like me, is part of the Orlando Pirates development academy,” said a proud Mncedisi.
The youngster’s football career started in the streets of Soweto. It was while he was playing informally with his friends that he was approached by Nkosinathi Motlale, coach of Protea Glen FC who recruited him into the team.
Then at the beginning of the year, at a friendly game between Protea Glen Stars and Mavi Stars, the Bree Primary coach, Bafana Dlamini invited the youngster to join the school.
“They spoke to my grandmother Lindiwe Nguse, who is my guardian, and they told her how good a goalkeeper I am and that Bree Primary School would like to offer me a full scholarship,” Mncedisi said. “My grandmother knows how much I love soccer and how important it is to me, so she immediately agreed to allow me to change schools and attend Bree.”
He started at Bree in February and adjusted easily. “Bree is a very good school and since I started there my grades have improved a lot. I have made friends. Every one now knows me at the school especially now that we won the Danone Nations Cup. My team mates and I have become very popular at the school.
Bree Principal, Mr Kalicharan, introduced Mncedisi to the Danone Nations Cup. “We all know that the team won in 2009 and we decided we would go all out to try and do the same this year. The provincial finals were a great experience, but the nationals took the cake. It was my first time playing against schools from other provinces and I had a great time meeting all of them. Before the final game against Nelson Mandela Primary Kalicharan had a talk with me and prepared me mentally. He used to be a goalkeeper and he knows the pressures that goalkeepers face during the game.”
When he learned that he will be going to Morocco the first people Mncedisi told were his grandmother and brother. “My gran is the most excited and also scared for me because she is scared of aeroplanes and flying. My brother, on the other hand, wishes it was him going to Morocco because he has never travelled internationally before.”
The team is hard at work preparing for the world finals and Mncedisi is getting special attention from Mr Kalicharan. “He has been telling me how different it is at international level. He told me that we will play against players that are very tall and that can aim very well, I need to maintain my cool and keep my eye on the ball at all times,” he said. “He also stressed the importance of communication, it is very important for a goalkeeper to communicate with your team at all times.
At home the youngster is also getting help from his brother. “It helps that he is a goalkeeper as well so we get to share ideas and he teaches me a lot about catching high balls and low balls and how to distribute the ball.”
Bree, as former winners of the world title, know how important it is to represent the country well in Morocco, Mncedisi said. “I tell my team mates that we should be proud of ourselves for achieving what we have achieved. The big step now is the world finals, because Bree won in 2009 we are under a lot of pressure to win this year but we should not let that get to us.”
Mncedisi is adamant that professional soccer lies in his future. “I see myself being a part of development academy and going on to play professionally,” he said. “But I also want to study and become a lawyer, I love working with people and I enjoy helping people out with their problems.”