For Bree Primary School, who have already won the national finals twice before – going on to win the World Final in 2009, this is a dream come true. “After winning the world title we have not managed to go beyond the provincial finals for the past 5 years,” said Bree Primary principal, Dave Kalicharan. “This year my coach, Bafana Dlamini, and I sat down and decided we were going to put together a team that would bring us back to the glory days and that is what we did. We went on a recruitment drive to source a couple of extra players to boost our team and they joined the school this year. We have not put them under pressure, but given then the drive to believe in themselves and encouraged them to dream big.”
There are 32 countries competing in the tournament and South Africa has been drawn in a pool with Belgium, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia. The pool games will take place on Friday, 23 October. This will be followed by a knockout phase to determine the pool results and who will compete in the finals. The last day, Sunday, 25 October, the 32 teams will play their final match in the main Marrakesh stadium.
When asked what he wanted to take out from this experience, captain, Ntando Simayile said: “I will get to travel by plane for the first time, see a desert for the first time, get to understand nutrition better and I am really looking forward to staying in a fine hotel. I also want to learn as much as I can about football and watch how other countries play. I have seen some videos of previous Danone Nations Cup world finals and I have seen some spectacular goals scored. I also want to have lots of fun.”