Schools battle to win

2017-04-19 06:00

With last year’s Free State u.12 Danone Nations Cup winner eliminated, a new champion will be crowned on Saturday (22/04).

Previous winner, the Witsieshoek Primary School from Qwaqwa (Thabo Mofutsanyana), lost to Fateng Sa Thuto by 0-1 in the final round for the region – paving the way for the crowning of new provincial champions.

This year’s provincial final is set at Grey College in Bloemfontein where five schools will battle it out for the trophy.

The schools are Zamaleka (Fezile Dabi), Brebner Primary (Motheo), Jagersfontein Intermediate (Xha- riep), Tikwe Primary (Lejweleputswa) and Phaphama (Thabo Mofutsanyana).

The school that wins the provincial championship automatically qualifies to represent the Free State and to compete for the national championship.

This year’s national final where the champions of the nine provinces will compete, will be staged in early July in Gauteng.

The Zamaleka players and coach Joseph Mphuthi are buoyant, having qualified for the provincial final after five previous unsuccessful attempts.

The school fell by the wayside at the regional final last year, losing to former champions, the Nelson Mandela School from Sasolburg.

Mphuthi believes the insight gained during a South African Football Association (Safa) D ­License coaching qualification, had a lot to do with their success.

“I learnt about various technical and tactical aspects of youth football, including the psychology behind teaching children. You need to be extra patient with young players. They all develop differently and at different rates.

“I come from a high school teaching background and working with primary school kids is very different,” he said.

Mphuthi said his school team had played 12 gruelling games to reach the provincial final.

His coaching ability and the skills of his players will be tested on Saturday.

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