Transnet Sports School of Excellence, Zitikeni Secondary School of Tembisa, Sunward Park Secondary School in Boksburg and Fred Habedi Primary School of Tsakane will battle it out in the finals of the JNW Cleaning Solutions competition at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa today.
The under-14 tournament will be played on a round-robin system with the winners booking their seats to Germany during the October school break.
School of Excellence assistant coach James Mabena’s team advanced to the finals after edging out Lerotle Primary School from Daveyton and Tiisetsong Secondary School of Thokoza 2-1 respectively in the round robin play-offs at Huntersfield Stadium in Katlehong on Wednesday.
The School of Excellence produced the likes of Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar, who is plying his trade with Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premiership, and another Bafana star, Bernard Parker, who is in the Netherlands with Twenty FC.
Mabena says his players will need to up their game if they are to match the other teams gunning for honours. But the former Moroka Swallows defender believes the lure of a trip to Germany should motivate his youngsters.
“We need to take it one game at a time,” said Mabena. “The boys have only just returned from their mid-year vacation. The trip to Germany is extra motivation.”
The School of Excellence took full advantage after being given a second bite at the cherry having finished runners-up to Zitikeni Secondary School of Tembisa, who had already qualified for the finals at the Elandsfontein sport ground last month.
Ekurhuleni North District chairman Simphiwe Dywili said the standard of the game has improved by leaps and bounds in the region.
“The standard of football is very high compared to previous years,” said Dywili. “There is plenty of talent. We are hoping for a superb game of football in the final.”
This article was first published in The Star (South Africa).