GAUTENG WILL host its under-12 Danone Nations Cup provincial finals at the Germiston Stadium on Friday, 7th June, coinciding with the Gauteng Department of Education's winter games.
Games are scheduled to start at 10am.
Nine schools will be competing for the provincial title, and a chance to compete in the national finals to be played at the WJ Clement Stadium in Reiger Park on Saturday, 15th June. The winner will then join the 2018 Danone Nations Cup champions, Nomlinganiselo, from the Western Cape at the world finals in Spain later in the year.
The Johannesburg Primary Schools Football Association (JPSFA) held its Danone Nations Cup qualifying tournament at Sacred Heart College earlier this month with 20 competing schools. The King’s School Robin Hills emerged as deserving winners and became the first school to qualify for the provincials.
The King’s school finished top of their log and beat Bryneven Primary from Sandton 3-1 in the semifinal to go through to the final. They were pitted against Hurleyvale Primary, who drew their semifinal match against the Deutsche Internasionale Schule from Parktown 1-all and went through on penalties.
The final match didn’t start well for the King’s School when their goalkeeper suffered an injury in the first few minutes of the game and had to be taken off.
“That was tough,” admitted coach Kgabo Ditsebe. “I had to make changes to the team. I told the boys to play their best for their goalkeeper, and they did exactly that. When the game ended the boys ran straight to him and which showed that they play as a team and not as individuals.”
The final was a hard-fought match where both teams had their chances. After The King’s School’s upset with their goalkeeper having to be replaced, they went from strength to strength scoring the first goal of the match immediately after the injury.
Hurleyvale fought hard and equalised halfway through the match. From there both teams had their chances, but it was The King’s School who scored again just before the end of play to progress to the provincial finals.
The King’s School competed in the tournament in 2018 and 10 of their players were back in action again this year, which was an advantage, admitted Ditsebe. “It was our plan to put our school on the map as we are not well-known in Gauteng.
It wasn’t easy, every school has the same goal and that is to win and go through to the next round. I’m not sure what to expect from the provincials and will put my preparation plan in place immediately. It’s a new challenge, we are the first group from the school to get to the next stage of the tournament and it would be a dream come true if we went to the national finals and even represent the country in Barcelona in October. But I will take it a step at a time.”
Image (Final Hurleyvale vs The Kings School Robin Hills).