Okiep High School finished 6th overall at the national finals of the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup – six places ahead of their Northern Cape rivals and provincial winners, Rietvale, who are seasoned campaigners at this stage of the tournament.
That’s quite an achievement says Clive De Jongh, team coach and principal of the school, who points out that they have had no prior experience at this level. “This was the first time we qualified while Rietvale have won the provincial finals before, so it was quite an achievement for us to finish well ahead of them,” he said.
“The competition was tougher than we expected and there were no easy games,” explains De Jongh. But the tournament opened the door for an unbelievable experience for two of my players as they were selected to travel to Johannesburg and participate in a Mamelodi Sundowns camp in November.”
“Personally I learned that I need to prepare for next year’s tournament much earlier than I did this year - I am already drawing up the training schedule,” De Jongh said. “Most of the team that competed this year will be eligible for participation next year, so that will be a big advantage.”
The coach says the standard of play at the finals was extremely high. “The academy teams were very good, in particular, but I am pleased with my boys as we kept to the game plan and managed to close players down, preventing scoring opportunities.”
The biggest challenge facing the team was the 24 trip they took to get to the venue. “The boys were tired, so they did not play well in their first game losing 2 – 0 to Louis Botha Technical High School (Free State).”
De Jongh has 29 years of experience in coaching and holds SAFA level 1 and 2 coaching certificates. He is very involved in soccer in his community being chairman of Schools football in Okiep and implemented an under-10 soccer league in the town. He is also the school’s tennis coach, and is proud to have coached South African tennis player, Jeff Coetzee.
“Our school is based in a very poor area but I managed to get the Department of Sports, Art, Culture and recreation to build us a state of the art multipurpose sports combo field.”
De Jongh has been very impressed with Sanlam as a sponsor. “I think Sanlam is an ideal brand to associate with soccer as we all need to learn more about financial planning. I look forward to hearing more about Sanlam and how the company can help us all build up our asset bases.”
Results of Northern Cape Schools
HTS Louis Botha 2 vs. Okiep 0
Okiep 3 vs. East High 0
Okiep 1 vs. Ndamase 0
Okiep 3 vs. Eric Nxumalo 2
Clapham 2 vs. Okiep 0
Okiep 1 vs. Benny’s Sports 1
Okiep 0 vs. Mondale 0
Rietvale 0 vs. Harmony 3
Clapham 6 vs. Rietvale 0
Sebetwane 1 vs. Rietvale 1
Rietvale 0 vs. Freedom Park 1
Rietvale 2 vs. FK Tjiane 1
Freedom Park 1 vs. Rietvale 1Rietvale 1 vs. Executive Academy 1