THE ETWATWA Township, in the East Rand will be represented at the Danone National Finals by Zamukhanyo Primary School.
They beat their opponents St Josephs Kulani 1-0 in the knockout stages held at Sacred Heart College- Observatory, to represent Gauteng Province in the national finals to be held at Dobsonville Stadium- Soweto, September 15 2108.
The captain of the under 12 winning side and stylish Siyabonga “Mshini” Msimango, attributed their win to hard work and prayers.
“As you could see, it was not easy beating other sides to make it to the knockout stages but through listening to our coach, working extra hard and sharing the ball as quick and precise as we did, this paid the results,” says the excited (11) who plays for Highlands Park under 13, since February this year.
“Mshini” as he’s known for dribbling skills tells he prefers wearing jersey No5 to confuse their opponents though he’s a natural striker.
“This works to my advantage and hopefully with that tactic shall confuse (ugubayisiza) our opponents at the finals in Dobsonville, of which as from now onwards; we’re going to add more training hours to reach our dream to play internationally. Yes, this is our first participation in the competition and our prayers is to get on that plane for the first time as well,” says “Mshini” with a smile, complemented by a Gold medal.
St Josephs Kulani is a Winterveldt Comprehensive based School in Tshwane that also gave a good account.
Zamukhanyo Primary School coach, Sibonelo Mfeka, entered his school this year after being encouraged to do so by the Department of Basic Education.
“We are a no-fee school serving a number of townships, informal settlements and rural areas around Ekurhuleni and our facilities are limited so to get this far is exceptional and I must give credit to the commitment of my players,” said Mfeka.
On taking his boys to the national finals, the coach has promised to seek help through coaching clinics from ex-PSL football stars from Daveyton, ahead of national finals.
According to him this would augur well for players- both physical and psychological preparedness since this is their first and most important assignment in the history of the schools’ sport.
“The feeling is good and surreal, considering the boys disadvantaged background. But nevertheless, they made the province proud, so did their school and community of Etwatwa, which is unheard of to many,” says Mfeka, who also pointed out that apart from “Mshini” they also have other two boys who also play for Highlands Park development side.
The Danone national finals will be held at Dobsonville- Soweto on September 15.
South Africa has been competing in the Danone Nations Cup since its inception in 2000 and is one of only 2 countries that has won the tournament 3 times (2003, 2007 and 2009).
The other country being France.