The next provincial finals of the U12 Danone Nations Cup soccer tournament will be held at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Claremont on Saturday.
Among the 12 finalists are schools which have been regular participants at provincial level, some have been playing in the tournament for years without reaching this level before, and a few which are entering the competition for the first time this year.
Zandile Primary School has been competing in the tournament since 2012 but this is the first time they have reached the provincial finals.
The school’s coach, Siya Shangashe said it is a great achievement for them and the atmosphere at the school is electrifying. “The team was acknowledged at assembly and the choir sang a special song for them to mark their achievement,” said Shangashe.
He said it isn’t easy dealing with young players. “They tend to lose confidence if they don’t excel in a game and it is important to encourage them all the time.”
The coach will be looking up to his two players in Wonderboy Dlamini and Kwanele Nyawose to win Saturday’s encounter. Dlamini is a no-nonsense defender while Nyaose plays in the middle of the park.
Another school which will be taking part is Ophuzane Primary School. The school played in the provincial finals in 2010, 2011 and 2012 but has never made it to the national finals. The closest they have come is provincial runners up in 2011. Provincial winners will qualify for the national finals.