The Kay Motsepe Schools Cup continues to widen its reach and breaking boundaries through social cohesion and sports. The tournament is attracting schools that one wouldn’t have imagined participating in this tournament.
2015 will be Sandtonview School’s second year of participating in the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, sponsored by Sanlam and the Motsepe Foundation. Coach, Thabani Nyathi, had no hesitation when it came to entering the team again this year because he believes the interaction and exposure that comes with playing competitive soccer is an important educational experience for the boys.
The school is playing in the Johannesburg East cluster of the Gauteng provincial competition and their matches begin on 14thApril. They will be competing against schools such as Wendywood High School, Holy Family College, Northview High School, Athlone Boys High, Queens High, Jules High and Barnato Park High.
“In the past we participated in our local schools league only, but last year we decided that the school should play in the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup,” Nyathi said. “In this way the players get exposed to tougher competition and to other schools with exceptionally skilled players. We see it as a learning curve.”
Last year the school was knocked out early in the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup but the coach says he learnt a lot. “Academics is a priority of the school so I can only select players from Grade 11 as the Grade 12’s need to focus on Matric. This has resulted in me having to select a completely new team this year. I have some really skilled players and I believe we can go all the way to the nationals. I have been concentrating on physical conditioning and we are now moving on to individual skills and techniques. The final stage is tactical awareness and then we will be ready for the tournament.”
Nyathi draws inspiration from the fact that he can make a difference in the player’s lives. “I am also inspired by coaches from all over the world. Locally I look up to the likes of Gavin Hunt and Gordon Igesund and internationally it’s Alex Ferguson and, especially, Jose Mourinho. He started off as a teacher as well and I see myself following in his footsteps”
Team work is what Nyathi put emphasis on. “We win and lose as a team. After games I never focus on a single player and I boost their confidence levels all the time. During a training session I do give credit to players that give 100%. Before every game I have words of encouragement, during half time I tell them what they did great and what they need to focus on. I applaud them when they play well.”
Nyathi is an ambitions coach. “The next step is to become a fully fledged professional coach, I want to coach PSL teams and I also want to unearth talented players and make them the Teko Modises of the country. I want to give these players the chance of playing professionally.”