Mbeks school cup champions

2015-09-10 06:00

Excited members of Mbekweni High with their winnings, the has defended a trophy they won last year.

Excited members of Mbekweni High with their winnings, the has defended a trophy they won last year.

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Desmond Mpilo Tutu Secondary School are the Western Cape under-19 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial soccer champions after beating Excelsior 1-0 in the final at the Nyanga Stadium on the weekend.

This means they will be going to the national finals of the competition for the second successive year and they get a chance to redeem themselves after they made an early exit at the nationals last year.

The school were the Western Cape provincial runners up, which qualified them for the nationals, but according to the team manager, Xolisa Nzima their lack of experience cost them at that level and they finally finished in 16th position.

“We were taken by surprise at the nationals last year,” he said. “The boys did not anticipate how competitive the game was at that level and how fast-paced other schools played soccer. We saw how much we need to improve if we want to win this tournament, and this year we decided to take what we learnt from last year and come back and redeem ourselves, which is what we have done.”

This year’s team is a combination of old and new players, and Nzima said the older hands have been guiding the young ones.

“They know the ins and outs of this tournament, and are sharing this with the new players. The team has been working very well together and communicating well, on and off the field. They are also more dedicated and focused. We have a crop of boys that are very talented and they know what they want out of this tournament and they are working towards achieving the goal.”

One thing is for sure, believes Nzima, is that the team will definitely be better prepared. “We are training at the local gym to build fitness levels, and I have brought in a young assistant coach, Sizwe Jack, who plays for a local team and has been a great help in bringing the team together.”

“Since he took over, we have been qualifying and reaching levels we have never reached before,” Nzima said. “The team is able to relate to him because he’s the same age as them, and the players trust him. He has built a close bond with the team, they respect one another and they get along very well.”

The Western Cape provincials went well, Nzima feels.

“Of all the games, I thought that the final game against Excelsior High School was by far the toughest. We managed to beat them, but I think that Excelsior was a much tougher opponent than the rest of the teams.”

As provincial champions, the school has won R100 000 to use to fund projects that will benefit the school and surrounding community. Nzima said they still have to meet to discuss how they will be using it, as there is a lot that needs to be done at the school. He hopes some of the money can be used for sports equipment.

Western Cape Provincial finals results.

Thembalethu 0 vs Beaufort West 2

Ilingelethu 0 vs Qhayiyia 0

Desmond Tutu 1 vs Beaufort West 1

Excelsior 5 vs Qhayiya 0

Desmond Tutu 4 vs Ilingelethu 0

Excelsior 1 vs Beaufort West 0

Beaufort West 2 vs Ilingelethu 0

Final - Excelsior 0 vs Desmond Tutu 1

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