"WHAT WE need the most is a proper football field. There is no suitable facility in the area, so we have to travel to train on a field that will be comparable to the excellent facilities that we are going to encounter at the world finals," explains Cyril Ntsele.
“The ball will move faster and bounce higher there, meaning the game will be quicker so we need to get to a training facility with similar fields to get in a bit of practice.”
Ntsele is the principal at 2017 National under 12 Danone winner–Mophela Primary School- that has made it to World championship games in New York scheduled for September 2017.
Another issue is that due to cultural and family traditions three of the original members – Sithembiso Ngcongo (striker), Siyathanda Ndlovu (goal-keeper) and right wing Nhlakanipho Ndlovu- will miss out.
Due to withdrawal of the said players’ Ntsele, had to call replacements as quick as possible so that they gel with other players and begin familiarising themselves with what to expect at the ‘Big Apple’ as NY is better known.
According to the Hammersdale (KZN) based School Principal: “For all of them it’s going to be an awfully big adventure. Like last year’s champions, Benny’s Sports Development and Academy, they are based in a rural area and any kind of travel is a daunting prospect for the children.
“They will have to prepare them mentally to accept the change of culture, the different languages and the sheer size of New York and the USA.
“The plane flight will be new to all of them, but we know what to expect, but what they will struggle to fully understand is the enormity of New York.
We are showing them videos of New York and the history of the USA to get them better prepared,” he says.
Things have changed at the school since they won the Danone Nations Cup national title. “The local municipality has come in and they are very supportive of the boys and trying to help them prepare better,” says Ntsele.
The Mophela School will face 31 strong sides worldwide at the tourney to kick-off from September 24.
Bon Voyage boys- bring that silverware back where it belongs!