Benny’s Sports Development and Academy of Louis Trichard are the 2016 Danone Nations Cup national champions after winning the title in Boksburg last weekend. They are the first school from Limpopo province to take the title and the first sports development school to win it.
They beat the North West champions, BM Mokitime Primary School, in a penalty shootout, after a closely contested final ended goalless.
As national champions, Benny’s will represent South Africa at the Danone Nations Cup world finals in France from October 14th to 16th.
BM Mokitime came into the finals as favourites after an impressive performance in the provincial finals.
After neither team managed to score in regulation time in the final match, it came down to penalties and Benny’s took it.
Benny’s coach, Mbishi Mokwena, said that the tournament is about ‘believing in your dreams’ and his dream since January was to win it.
“We followed the tournament religiously on Facebook. We knew who had gone through to the finals, investigated the type of football they played and the quality of players and we prepared accordingly,” he said.
His team went into the nationals focused, confident, quiet and determined, he said. The night prior to the nationals, while the kids from the other schools were running around having fun, his boys decided among themselves to stay focused and not let the bright lights of Joburg get to them. “We remained focused on the task ahead,” Mokwena said.
“I was nervous about playing BM Mokitime in the final. They had won all their games whereas two of our games ended in a draw, and I knew prior to the nationals that they were a good side. But I had faith in my team.”