Team shows courage

2017-06-28 06:01
The Phaphama Intermediate School defender Mvulani Nhlapo and keeper, Mohau Mokone, beaten by Brebner Primary School’s Kamohelo Mahoa (blue) who scored one of the goals in the final.Photos: Teboho Setena

The Phaphama Intermediate School defender Mvulani Nhlapo and keeper, Mohau Mokone, beaten by Brebner Primary School’s Kamohelo Mahoa (blue) who scored one of the goals in the final.Photos: Teboho Setena

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Having pulled off a coup by winning the Free State leg of the Danone Nations Cup boys’ u.12, Phaphama Intermediate School coach Victor Mokoining hopes for a repeat feat at the national final.

He led the school from the tiny town of Fouriesburg to a big final at the WJ Clement Stadium in Reiger Park in Johannesburg.

The final on Saturday (01/07) will see the nine champions representing their respective provinces battle it out for the national crown of the competition.

This will be Phaphama’s first appearance nationally, as was the case at the provincial final. The boys from this town in the Eastern Free State rose to the occasion provincially, beating the Brebner Primary School in the final via penalties.

Mokoining is optimistic his young warriors will put up a good fight at the nationals.

“There is always a first time and I believe it is possible to pull off another big upset. Our target is to finish in the top four and bring home a silver or a bronze medal. We have prepared well and I’m hoping the players will rise to the occasion,” he said.

Mokoining said experience gained at the Free State final played during April, and preparations to play in front of a big crowd in Qwaqwa and Bethlehem, would help his players to cope with stage fright.

“The boys responded well in the presence of big crowds during pre-tournament games, as opposed to when we played at the provincial final. The majority of the players were not familiar with playing in front of a big crowd,” he said.

Mokoining said preparation also included target shooting and playing under pressure.

“The players were not familiar with these aspects but now they are aware,” he said.

The school that wins the national title will travel to New York in September to represent South Africa at the Danone Nations Cup world final.

Mokoining, a teacher at Phaphama, has been coaching the school for a number of years and this is the first time he has advanced this far.

“What changed is that the Department of Basic Education sent me on a South Africa Football Association (Safa) Level D coaching course. This has changed my entire outlook on coaching,” he said.

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