GEMSBOK-UPINGTON: The under-12 Danone Nations Cup soccer tournament is moving into top gear with Northern Cape hosting the first 2017 provincial final on Saturday, 25 March at the Mxolisi Dicky Jacobs Stadium in Upington.
Everyone in the community are invited to come enjoy some Danone products like NutriDay and Yogisip, as well as loads of soccer fun! Kick-off is at 10am.
There will be five regional winners competing for a chance to play in the national finals that will take place on 1 July 2017 in Gauteng.
The competing Northern Cape schools will be: JTG district – Bankhara Bodulong Primary School Namakwa district – Aggeneys Primary School Pixley ka Seme district – Laerskool Kareeville ZF Mgcawu district – Die Kuil Intermediate School Francis Baard district – district final still to be played
Most of the regional winners have been com-peting in the tournament for a number of years in-cluding Bankhara Bodulong Primary School, who have been playing since 2008.
An advantage coach Gaza Mosala, who has been coaching the team since 2014, has is that he possesses a SAFA Level 2 coaching qualification. Before his transfer to Bodulong he was with Tshirologo Primary School in Venterdorp where he managed to get the school into the pro-vincial finals in 2012 and 2013.
But he admits he still has work to do with the players prior to the provincials. “During the cluster and regional stages I noticed the boys were very nervous,” Mosala said. “We need to get over that before the provincials.”
To achieve this he has organised a number of practice games against local high school under-13 teams. “That has helped. They are learning not to get so frustrated when losing the ball now and are definitely more confident.”
The team played 3 matches to get to the provin-cial finals. They won 2 and drew 1 to end top of the league.
“I know the pressures of a provincial finals day, but I try not to put any pressure on the kids,” the coach said. “If you are too hard on them they lose confidence. They must also make friends on the
day, and have fun.” A key player is 12 year
old right wing, Karabo Oliphant. He has been playing club football with local club, Bodulong United since 2015 and also played in the 2016 Danone Nations Cup.
Mosala believes this is a future professional in the making, he even went for trials at the School of Ex-cellence in 2016 but is not ready as yet. Karabo would like to make it big one day. “George Lebese of Kaizer Chiefs as my role model,” he said. “I love his style of football and how he al-ways assists in goal-scoring, that’s how I want to play.”
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