Academies could dominate Free State SKMSC Provincial Final.04/Sep/2013 10:39
Eight district winners will be contesting the Free State Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial finals taking place at the Louis Botha Technikon High School in Bloemfontein on Saturday 7 September. Among them will be four- time contenders, Dr Reginald Cingo Secondary School, representing Kroonstad.
The school is going through exciting times since the Free State Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation identified them as a HUB school, which is a semi-sports academy. Coach, Pule Sam Nketu, an accounting teacher and communications and technology trainer, praised the local government for putting their faith in the school, even sending him to attend a SASFA Level 1 coaching course last year, and believes he will give Harmony, a fully fledged sports academy, a run for their money.
“What I have learnt is how scientific and technology-based soccer has become over the years and I am pleased to say we have adapted accordingly and believe we have as good a chance as any other to win the provincial finals on Saturday.”
In 2010 the school was knocked out at regional level by Harmony High School and in 2011 they won the Provincial finals, and bought a 22-seater bus with the prize money they received. Last year they were runners-up in the Free State provincial finals.
The Free State government is in the process of identifying different schools in the districts to be converted into semi-academies, and are in the process of setting up the facilities and sourcing equipment ready to launch early next year. Once Dr Reginald Cingo is fully up and running, they will cater for different sports – including hockey, netball, tennis and soccer. A number of professional sportsmen and women have been invited to join the academy as personnel.
The next step will be to invite top sports performers, both female and male, from the Fezile Dabi district for trials. The criteria they will be using to gauge if a child qualifies to join the academy will be based on the tactics and basic techniques set out by the department.
If they were to win again on Saturday, Nketu says, they will use the R100 000 in prize money to improve their sports ground as they currently have to hire a local stadium in Kroonstad to play matches.
Nketu says that the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup has made a massive difference to the school in terms of playing against top schools in the country, thereby getting the player used to playing at the top level and overcome the pressure that goes with it. “Participating has also helped us become one of the top performing schools in the Free State. This tournament has proved that a public school like ours can beat any team if we put our mind to it.”
Nketu is a believer in the mental side of the game. “Before touching on the physical aspects of the game, we always tell the players that academy students are not any different from them, if the 2011 team was able to beat Harmony High and win the Free State Provincial finals they can do it too,” he said.
Two past students of the school are playing for PSL clubs – Karabo Litabe at Sundowns and Xowane Tefo, who is with Thanda Royal Zulu.
Nketu identifies central defender Kgauta Mokaki as a key player in the team. “He is a highly-motivated player and organises the defence well,” he said.
Mokaki believes the difference between last year’s team and this one is that last year’s team had a problem scoring goals; they spent too much time passing and dribbling. “This year we are focusing more on counter attacking and making sure that we move faster with the ball on the field,” he said.
He says they are looking forward to going to the national finals and getting revenge against East High from Mpumalanga who knocked them out last year.
List of participating schools:
|Fezile Dabi||Dr Reginald Cingo High||Kroonstad|
|Thabo Mofutsanyane||Mohato Secondary||Qwaqwa|
|Xhariep||Lere la thuto||Zastron|
|Motheo||Loius Botha THS||Bloemfontein|