By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
THABISO Bila from the dusty village of MP Stream in Bushbuckridge’s Thulamahashe area has become a celebrity over a night after this young lad guided Daniye Primary School to lift the 2013 edition of the Danone Nations Cup national title.
The excited pint-sized Thabiso told Sports Focus that winning the national honour of this Under-12 competition was the biggest achievement of his career as a young coach.
“It is an open secret that it was every coach’s dream whose club has participated in today’s finals to win this title and I am so excited that it happened to be me at the end of the day,” said Thabiso whose team has been training under bad conditions during their preparations to this tournament.
Not only did Thabiso who comes from the family of nine, six brothers and two sisters, has made the province of Mpumalanga proud, but it has also booked their ticket to England where they will represent the country in the World Cup of the Danone Nations Cup where they will be joined by 39 other teams from throughout the world to be played at the Wembley Stadium in September.
“This is a great thing to have happened to me and my team, firstly we have never been any where far apart from here in Gauteng and the fact that we will be in that long trip flight to England for the first-time ever just puzzles me. I never thought that one day I would boards into a plane,” said Thabiso who in 2010 failed his matric certificate.
Thabiso who stays with his unemployed mother and his Male-Nurse father and brothers and sisters said after failing matric , he tried studying Electrical Engineering at the Sir van Dancan in Phalaborwa’s Namakgale township, Limpopo but also dropped out while in his second year.
“I think my calling relies in coaching, more so because my attempt to be education has proved to be fruitless and hence I decided to follow my dream as a coach,” added Thabiso who said he was following on his brother’s footsteps in football, Jabulani Bila who played for SAFA-Mpumalanga’s second division side (formerly Vodacom League), MP Highlanders.
Daniye Primary School’s football team manager, YE Mabunda said they decided to appoint Thabiso as the school coach after realising his potential.
“Thabiso has been doing good with youngsters, especially outside the school after having gathered young boys to keep them busy in his own Academy called TNG. We realised how influential he was to these boys and them decided to rope him to the school and since then he has never disappointed,” said Mabunda.
Thabiso’s potential was also seen last year when he guided the same team to the final match of the Nestle Milo Under-15 Cup last year.