The Northern Cape Provincial Final of the under-12 Danone Nations Cup was held at the Keimoes Stadium on 22nd March and was won by Kimberley’s Roodepan Primary School.
After years of trying, the school not only reached the provincial finals for the first time, but went on to win and the team has not stopped celebrating since. According to team manager, Enricho Chapman, this goal was set years back and it has finally been achieved.
“The Danone Nations Cup is about ‘believing in your dreams’ and playing in the national finals has been a dream of ours for a while now,” said Chapman. “The games were pretty tough and intense; we won because we worked very hard in training and I believe that the school deserved to win, this year is our year.”
Chapman identified Brecher Primary School as their toughest competition in the finals. “We played against them twice. In the first game they beat us 1-0. Our defence was strong in the second game and we didn’t give them a chance to create goals.”
He is upbeat about their chances in the national finals. “Without a doubt, we have a chance of winning the national title after the performance this past weekend,” Chapman said. “We have a special crop of boys that have that fighting spirit. Winning the provincial title is a morale booster and the team is geared up for the nationals.” He admits that having no experience of playing in the national finals is a disadvantage, but the boys will definitely not go down without a fight, he said.
Chapman identifies defender, Toufiq Olyn, as a key player in the team. Toufiq said that meeting other schools and playing against them was fun. “I really enjoyed playing against Ferdinand Brecher because they beat us first and we beat them in our final match. The ultimate was when we won the title. Winning the provincial title showed we can achieve anything we want to no matter the circumstances.”
The next step for this young team is to travel to Gauteng to compete in the national finals on the 23rd June. “We have never travelled outside of the Northern Cape and we are going to work hard to win the trip to Brazil,” said Toufiq. He believes that Brazil is the best country when it comes to soccer. “I saw their national team play against our national team and I have to admit that they are the best. I admire their style and technique and I wish that I could go abroad and learn how to play like them.”
Roodepan 1-0 Willie Theron
Ferdinand Brecher 2-1 Willie Theron
Willie Theron 2-1 Moholeng
Willie Theron 1-0 Die Kuil
Ferdinand Brecher 1-0 Roodepan
Roodepan 1-0 Moholeng
Roodepan 2-0 Die Kuil
Ferdinand Brecher 1-0 Moholeng
Ferdinand Brecher 1-1 Die Kuil (Ferdinand Brecher won on penalties)
Moholeng 2-0 Die Kuil