Lentswe, Alabama - Laerskool Rustenburg Noord is well deserved winners of the under-12 Danone Nations Cup North West provincial finals.
Provincial finals were hosted at the Alabama Stadium on Saturday 16 June.
Lentswe learned that history will be made in that it will be the first time that a female coach, Busisiwe Mangena will be in charge of a team at National Final level, as this has not happened in a Danone Nations Cup tournament in South Africa before.
Mangena said she is proud of all her players. They started off a little nervous but soon gained their confidence and just went from strength to strength. “The final round robin game pitted us against Refethuto Primary and the boys put their heart and soul into ensuring a good win of 8-0.
“This put us into the final scheduled immediately after our last league game and I was worried that the boys would be exhausted. But, once again, they proved that they have the stamina and endurance to continue their winning ways and we finally beat Kwala-Kitso 3-1 to take us to the next step, which is the national finals,” she said.
Noord was boosted by an exceptionally gifted youngster, Koketso Tshwene who was a player of Mamelodi Sundowns Rustenburg satellite deve-lopment programme when he was just 8-years-old. And due to transport problems, he was unable to continue and is currently attending the Atletico Academy in Rustenburg.
Mamelodi Sundowns scout, Mandla Mazibuko who was present said he remembers Koketso well as a talented youngster at the Sundowns Aca-demy. “While he was with us he was not shy to take chances and was constantly shooting at goals which earned him the nickname, Messi,” Mazibuko said Mazibuko has attended most of the Danone Nations Cup finals this year and has identified good coaching as key to the success of develo-ping youngsters.
“To ensure excellent results at top level Club and Bafana Bafana level, we need to ensure that structures at youth level are in place.
“We have so much talent in this country, and to keep up with the way the game is evolving at a technical and tactical level, kids need to learn as early as possible so that it becomes a habit. This means that schools need to teach correct methods,” he added.
Koketso’s parents, George and Joyce Tshwene were at the game to watch their son in action.
The other two teams that participated are Potchefstroom Primary School (Dr Kenneth Kaunda region) and Refethuto Primary School (Ngaka Modiri Molema region).