DEFENDING CHAMPIONS Clapham High will meet Siphokuhle Secondary School (Mpumalanga), in the under-19 Kay Motsepe Schools Cup National Finals on Saturday.
University of the Free State, Bloemfontein will host the much anticipated finals, after a three-day of league action.
Clapham High from Tshwane, are attached to current PSL champs Mamelodi Sundowns, where players are brought under extreme supervision and coached by former Downs player Mike Manzini.
Chances are they will defend their silverware on Saturday, but knowing football is a funny game!
I am overjoyed to reach the finals again, says Manzini.
“We have won all our games to date. My striker, Pitso Tlotlego is currently one of the top goal-scorers in the tournament and he has been phenomenal. I hope that the other schools have been able to learn from their experience in the national finals.
Every coach has a different style, but we all share a common goal and that is to get the best out of our teams when it counts the most. Physical fitness is as important to competitive football as teaching tactics and techniques.
If you aren’t fit your opponents will run rings around you. It comes down to preparation. You need to get your team to peak at the right time. I believe we came to Bloemfontein well prepared.”
Manzini was impressed with his players. “Not only their performance, but the way they handled the games. There was no panic, frustration, fear and they had total control. They successfully managed to anticipate their opponents and capitalise on their mistakes. I know that some of my players will be competing for top clubs, be it in South Africa or internationally very shortly.”
The ultimate winner bags R1 million, second place wins R600 000 and third and fourth place finishers receive R500 000 and R400 000 respectively.
Prize money is not handed over in cash, but each school identifies key requirements that are needed by the school and these are funded from the winnings. Examples of prize money spend has included building/refurbishing of classrooms, upgrading of facilities such as sports fields, computer rooms and learning materials.
John Ramsay will play Khula in the third/fourth play-off at 10am tomorrow with the main game kicking-off at 13:30.
Image (Whose heading the ball- as Clapham players (blue) fight for aerial ball)?