The new school term has only just begun, but it’s straight into the action for Pretoria’s Rosina Sedibane Modiba Sports School as they face Clapham High School in a Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, sponsored by Sanlam and the Motsepe Foundation, Gauteng inter-districts clash on Thursday 23rd July, at Rosina.
Reginald Paterson, the school’s deputy principal and coach of the team, explains that his team is young and inexperienced, but up for the challenge.
“We are no longer affiliated to the SuperSport United youth academy,” he explained, “so we have to stand on our own feet now. But this team has been together for a few years now and we are optimistic about them.”
Paterson, who started coaching soccer at Rosina 11 years ago and has a level 2 coaching qualification, has been with the team since they were under-13s. The 2015 side is basically the school’s under-17 team, with a few experienced players left over from last year’s competition.
“They have adjusted well to playing at the U19 level and should they not make it this year they have another 2 years in this tournament,” Paterson said. “The team has been playing together for a long time so they are used to each other and communicate very well on the field.”
Paterson sees the adjustment to playing without the SuperSport affiliation as an advantage because it means that they will start relying on their own strengths and their own players.
“The current team we built from scratch. Each year we hold our own trails and we get some of the best players around, but unfortunately we end up losing them to big teams. Not so long ago SuperSport signed two of our players, Katlego Mohamme and Kamohelo Mahlatsi. Of course we want them to stay with us but at the end of the day they have to better their careers in soccer, and being a part of an academy is what will get them closer to their dreams of playing professional soccer.”
Rosina Sedibane was last in the national finals in 2013 and Paterson is confident that they will be there again this year. “I have been preaching to the team how important it is to put in the hard work. Clapham has players from the Sundowns academy and they have been very successful in this tournament before. We played in the local schools league and they beat us 2-0 but that does not mean they will do this again.
“Our strengths lie in our determination to do well and make a name for ourselves. The Supersport United academy players went over to Holy Trinity and they have been knocked out and there is no reason we should feel intimidated when facing the Sundowns academy players at Clapham.”