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All roads lead to Matlosana for Kay Motsepe

By FOCUS REPORTER

EIGHTEEN schools will hit the road to the North West Province this weekend, not to enjoy holiday chilling time as their peers will be doing, but to play hard in the hope of striking it rich on the soccer pitch at the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup national finals

 The participating school goes to these national championships after four months long were they had to sweat it out from the districts through to the regional knockouts before they could realise their dream to be where they are today. Each province will be represented by two schools in the national championships to decide an overall champion of the country on school football.

The tournament in Matlosana starts from Monday, September 27 with the grand finale on Wednesday, September 29 at the Matlosana Stadium in Klerksdorp.

“Sanlam proudly sponsors the Kay Motsepe Cup as we understand the value of giving young people the opportunity to realise their dreams,” says Frank Louw, Sponsorship Manager of Sanlam.

 The reigning champions, Mokopane Academy from Limpopo, are out of the running – they didn’t participate this year. This is good news for the Harmony High School team who have their eye on making it a third national win. Harmony, representing the Free State, took the national trophy in 2005 and 2008; while reaching third place in 2007 and 2009.

“I’ve told my boys that we have to be the first school to win the R1 million top prize,” says Hector Mokhali who has coached Harmony for the past seven years.We had a few problems in the defence and our striking force, however, everything is coming together very well at this stage.”

 He points out that the team has learnt from last year’s “slip-ups” and will have a different approach this year:Last year we lost a lot of points due to lack of concentration. The boys have to master the art of concentration and most importantly focus, we will be playing three or four games every day and they must be prepared not to make silly mistakes.”

Mokhali is also keenly aware that his squad will have to score in each game in order to proceed to the next round.

 “I have full confidence in my players; this tournament has done a lot for them,” he adds. The scouts seem to agree: while playing the provincial finals in Zastron earlier this year, two of Harmony’s players Lerato Manzini and Lehlohonolo Mokoena were spotted by Simon Makhulela of Bloemfontein Celtic. They have now signed with Bloemfontein Celtic development. At the national finals last year, four players were recruited by Mamelodi Sundowns and have subsequently joined the reputable Sundowns Academy.

 Not to be underestimated though is the host team, Seiphemelo High School. Representing the North West, the school has reached the nationals seven times. Though they have never made it into top four, they consistently make it top 10 every year.

Coach Michael Molai is cautiously optimistic: “We came 7th last year and are striving to make it into the top three this year.  The morale is a bit down because of Mkhize’s injury (squad’s top scorer suffered a broken ankle last week).  However we will not let that get to us – we are the host team and we should show the visitors what North West can do.”

The national line-up looks as follows:

No

Province

School

Town

1

Northern Cape

Pampierstad

Pampierstad

2

Northern Cape

SA van Wyk

Springbok

3

Gauteng

Jet Nteo

Vanderbiljpark

4

Gauteng

Jhb Sec

Johannesburg

5

Limpopo

Khaiso

Polokwane

6

Limpopo

OR Tambo

Groblersdal

7

Mpumalamga

Phaphamani

Delmas

8

Mpumalanga

K.I.Thwala

Secunda

9

Western Cape

Cloetesville

Stellenbosch

10

Western Cape

Bastiaanse

Beaufort West

11

North West

Seiphemelo

Potchestroom

12

North West

Eletsa

Brits

13

KwaZulu-Natal

Siyangempumelelo

Vryheid

14

KwaZulu-Natal

Mthwazi

Mkhuze

15

Eastern Cape

Mnceba

Ntabankulu

16

Eastern Cape

Bulelani

Queenstown

17

Free State

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