Kimberley’s Roodepan Primary School is the first team to go through to this year’s under-12 Danone Nations Cup national football finals after winning the Northern Cape provincial final last weekend.
The Northern Cape finals took place in Upington and Roodepan beat Bankhara Bodulong Primary School 3-2 on penalties after the final was locked on 1-all at the end of normal time.
Roodepan coach, Enrico Chapman said there was a tense moment in the final match when they went 1-0 down and, after winning all their league games, they found themselves facing defeat in the final minutes of the game. Then Graham Davids managed to score the equalizer and take them into the penalty shootout.
Roodepan managed to beat Bankhara Bodulong 1- 0 in their pool game earlier in the day.
Bankhara Bodulong did very well for a school that was in the provincials for the first time. They were very organised and communicated well on the field, Chapman said.
“My players were determined to win through to the nationals, though,” he said. “The extra hours of practise we put in the week before the finals paid off and all the mistakes we identified during the regionals were corrected.”
There is still a lot of work that needs to be done prior to the nationals, Chapman said, and they have 3 months now to get right.
“I will be organising practice matches against other schools in the Frances Baard region as well as games against older players – under-13 and under-14s. That will give us an opportunity to polish our skills and techniques.”
They will be approaching the Northern Cape Sports Council to help in getting the players into good shape and help them with their eating plans to ensure that they are physically prepared for the national finals.
“In the meantime, I’ll be monitoring the competition on the Danone Nations Cup Facebook page to see who we’ll be facing in the nationals.”
Chapman believes it’s about time that a school from the Northern Cape wins the national final and goes through to the Danone Nations Cup world finals.
“I know it won’t be easy as the bigger provinces have better facilities and better coaching than us. However, soccer is also a game of luck and it is the team with the most goals at the end of the game that wins. So, building up our strike force will be the key.”
In that regard, he believes he has an ace up his sleeve in Graham Davids who is an exceptional player. “This is his second year in the competition. He played last year as a midfielder and he scored 3 goals last weekend including the equalising goal against Bankhara-Bodulong in the final match.
“He improved greatly in the last few years. He is a hard worker and is always willing to learn. He plays well under pressure and is a great motivator.”
Game 1: Roodepan PS 1 vs Die Kuil 0
Game 2: Bankhara Bodulong PS 1 vs Aggeneys PS 0
Game 3: Kareeville PS 0 vs Bankhara Bodulong PS 2
Game 4: Aggeneys PS 0 v Roodepan PS 2
Game 5: Die Kuil PS 1 vs Kareeville PS 0
Game 6: Bankhara Bodulong PS 0 vs Roodepan PS 1
Game 7: Aggeneys PS 1 vs Die Kuil PS 4
Game 8: Roodepan PS 2 vs Kareeville PS 1
Game 9: Die Kuil PS 0 vs Bankhara Bodulong PS 1
Game 10: Kareeville PS 1 vs Aggeneys PS 2
Game 11: (Final) Roodepan PS 1vs Bankhara Bodulong PS 1. Roopdepan won 3-2 on penalties.
Free State will host the next provincial final which will take place after the Easter holidays at Grey College on 22 April.