Football had its baptism into the Absa Wildeklawer School sports tournament on Saturday at the Kimberley Boys High grounds as several teams battled it out in the knockout stages of the tournament.
It is the very first time that the prestigious school’s tournament has included football in its programme since its founding in 2009. The schools football sides numbering eight include four former champion squads invited from the Kay Motsepe School’s Cup competition. They are Rosina Sedibane High, Clapham High, Unitas Secondary School and Blinkklip High of Postmasburg.
The Motsepe Foundation supported by the Northern Cape chapter of the South African Football Association (Safa) and Wildeklawer provided four school teams which generally participate in the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup competition namely, Louis Botha Technical High School, Maritzburg College, Unitas Sport School and Kimberley Boys High.
Two local football coaches intimately connected with football development were also seen around the Kimberley Boys High grounds. Coach Kagisho ‘Spakes’ Matile and talent scout Brenda Mafunisa observed Kimberley Boys High get a 2-0 drubbing from Unitas Sport School.
The two coaches were also observers at the earlier match in which Kimberley Boys High played to a goalless draw with Grey College.
Matile said: I am particularly interested in picking up on likely new technical moves. You see at tournaments such as these everyone brings along something special in terms of tactics and so forth. So I am here to pick up on that. At the end of the day we need more tournaments like this for our youngsters to develop in the game.”
Mafunisa, who recently had one of her female school football protégés selected to take part in international games with the SA Women Under-17 squad, said she was keen to participate in the Wildeklawer games as she collaborates with male coaches and scouts in spotting talent worth pursuing.
“As a scout you look at the talent available from a very tender age especially from school level. That is where you actually start spotting talent. From that age the talent is still raw and you can work with it. At this level you can adapt them to a programme that they can follow and through that you nurture them to become top sports persons in their field.”
Sol Plaatje University Student Affairs Dean Nicole Morris said the institution was interested in the tournament. “From a sports perspective the university takes sports and sports development very serious.This particular programme speaks of sports development. It is important that we support this initiative of this nature that nurtures young talent”.
In the last group B game Pretoria’s Clapham High took the field against Grey College. Clapham proceeded to score two goals and went to the break with that two goal cushion against Grey College.
Clapham scored two more goals in the second half to take the maximum points 4-0.
The tournament continues on Monday with the play-offs rounds for football.
Group A matches
Rosina Sedibane vs Blinkklip High
Louis Botha THS vs Maritzburg College
Blinkklip High vs Louis Botha THS
Maritzburg College vs Rosina Sedibane
Group B scores
Kbly Boys High 0-0 Grey College.
Unitas Sport School 2-0 Kbly Boys High
Grey College 0-4 Clapham High