SOUTH Africa is the only country to have won the Danone Nations Cup World Finals, the biggest football tournament for children between the ages of 10 and 12 in the world, three times and for this the team was rewarded by being seeded in the Draw for the 2011 Fixtures which took place in Madrid, Spain.
But Barkerville Senior Secondary School, who will be representing South Africa, will not have an easy ride to get to the Final. Their first opponent will be Germany tomorrow.
To the youngsters this is a little daunting, not because they have seen their opponents in action, or even know anything about the team’s performance, but merely from reputation as Germany is known as a powerhouse football nation.
But the team management are more daunted by their second opponents, Canada, who the youngster will play at 11.20. “The team might have two girls in it, but about half the team comprises African Canadians who are enormous,” said team Manager, Primrose Lwana. “They just tower over the Barkerville boys.”
But the South African Schools Football Association CEO, Steve Pila, gave the boys encouragement and told them to go onto the field, play the best they can and just have confidence. “After all, look at last year when Bree Primary, the 2009 Danone Nations Cup South African representatives, played against Russia in the Final. They towered over our boys who dribbled around them leaving them frustrated. Bree were the ultimate winners.”
Barkerville will then play Bulgaria at 2.20pm with Algeria being their final opponents in the Pool section at 5pm.
In accordance to the FIFA Rules and Regulation for teams competing at this age group, games will be 15 minutes long except for the final where the teams will play for 20 minutes.