THE dream of many aspiring Under-12 footballers in Limpopo will become a reality this coming Saturday when they participate in the Danone Nations Cup provincial finals taking place at the Seshego Stadium in Polokwane.
From the dusty streets of Haluvhimbi village, Vukosi Makhubela will be among those chasing the Provincial title. The 11 year old aspiring footballer will captain his team, Masikhwa Primary School from Vhembe Retion, this weekend with the hope of making it to the National finals. Makhubela says his dream is to get to Poland, but realises that the road is still a long one – but points out it is getting closer!
“I only started playing football two years ago and my first taste of the real game was playing in the Danone Nations Cup last year. Although we lost in the Regional finals, I carried those memorable moments with me. When our coach made me captain earlier this year my first question was ‘when are we playing the Danone Nations Cup?” said Makhubela.
As the majority of his team will be playing in a tournament for the first time, Coach Thomas Tshivhase believes Makhubela’s experience will help. “Vukosi Makhubela is my key midfielder. He is a vibrant personality with good leadership skills and has fast pace which, when all combined, will motivate the rest of the team to do well. He will play a vital role that could well put Masikhwa Primary in a winning position.”
Reigning champions, Kgwahlele Primary School from Waterberg region and 3 other teams: Nwasorini Primary School from (Mopani Region), Monyebodi Primary School (Capricorn region) and Mokgabodi Primary (Sekhukhune Region) will also be in action.
Kgwahlele finished 6th in last year’s National finals and should they manage to beat their counterparts this weekend, this could be a chance for the school to put on a better performance.
“Reaching the Provincial means we have achieved one of our most important goals for this year,” said Kgwahlele coach, Ernest Kekana. “We would like to make history by becoming the second team in Limpopo to reach the National finals in two consecutive years.”
Meanwhile Atamela Primary School from Dr Kenneth Kaunda Region were crowned the North West Danone Nations Cup Provincial Champions for the second successive after beating Ebetsanang Primary School from Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati 1-0 in a thrilling encounter this past weekend at Ikageng Stadium.
“It is so exciting to win through to the National Finals again,” said Coach Jonas Morapedi. “I must compliment Tshepang Marera on the brilliant goal he scored and the commitment shown by our players. We will be heading for Gauteng to play in the National Finals which is exciting for my youngsters. It broadens their minds and exposes them to different styles of football that can only help them in the future.”
First time participants, Tlaseng Primary school, which had 10 players from the PSL Platinum Stars academy were knocked out and have vowed to come back next year better prepared.
The team that will represent South Africa in the 2012 Danone Nations Cup World Finals taking place in Poland later this year will be decided during the Danone Nations Cup National Finals to be held at Central Grounds, Mamelodi on the 23rd June.
Results for the North West:
Ebetsanang Primary School 1 Tlaseng Primary School 0
Atamela Primary School 2 Bosugakobo Primary Schol 0
Atamela Primary School 1 Ebetsanang Primary School 2
Tlaseng Primary School 2 Bosugakobo Primary School 0
Bosugakobo Primary School 0(3) Ebetsanang Primary School 0(1)
Tlaseng Primary School 0 Atamela Primary School 2