A proud Limpopo u.16 boys soccer team brought home gold from the South African Schools Sport Championships held in Gauteng recently.
The team, made up of 17 players from all districts, defeated six other provinces on their road to victory. In the group stages Limpopo beat Western Cape 3-0, drew 0-0 against North West, won 1-0 against Northern Cape and lost 3-2 to Gauteng. Team Limpopo then proceeded to the semi-finals where they walloped KwaZulu-Natal 4-2 on penalties after they had drawn 0-0. The final match was played against Gauteng whom they beat 1-0.
Head coach Ike Pula, who led the team from the side line, said the provincial team was made up of talented players who had shown dedication and passion for the sport. He said it was easy to coach them because he was among scouts who selected the players. Pula indicated that Capricorn district had dominated the team as it was represented by seven players.
“Our team consisted of best players such as goalkeeper Koketso Mokou and striker Itumeleng Selemela who joined the Mamelodi Sundowns development side this year. The provincial team captain Clen Malesa and goalkeeper Karabo Mpaneng were recruited at the national championships to join SuperSport United development side. They were invited for assessment last week but I am confident that they will seal the deal,” Pula explained.
He emphasised that Itumeleng claimed an award for being the tournament’s Top Goal Scorer with four goals, adding that the team has since been adopted by Limpopo Academy of Sport to keep the record of all the players who get recruited by professional teams.
He further said the team played well and they were happy to emerge as the national champions, adding that credit should be given to all the players for representing Limpopo well. He reiterated that he was honoured to be entrusted with the opportunity to lead the team and thanked Education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe and Sport, Arts and Culture MEC Thandi Moraka, and provincial Head of Football Sello Mabitsela for believing in him. Pula went on to applaud assistant coach Hendrick Mukwevho, the team doctors, support staff and the players for a job well done.
Story: ENDY SENYATSI