Three time Northern Cape Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup champions, Rietvale High School, from the town of Ritchie, are already hard at work preparing to defend their title.
Team manager, Barry Kammies, says they have registered for the competition and are busy selecting their squad at the moment. “We had many new students that started at the school in January and we are currently to seeing them all play to gauge their strengths. We will select the final squad within the next couple of weeks,” Kammies said. “I can already see that a lot of work will have to be done with the new players. The biggest problem we have to overcome is ball distribution. Many of the players do not want to pass the ball and are inclined to play as individuals as opposed to a member of the team,” he said
Rietvale has won R300 000 in the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup after being crowned Northern Cape champions in 2011, 12 and 13. “We have combined our 2012 and 2013 winnings and will purchase a 48-seater bus, which will make a massive difference to the school as transport is one of our biggest problems,” he said. “We will not only use the bus to take our team to soccer games, but also to take classes on educational excursions.”
Kasper Spandiel will be the coach again this year and he says that the lessons learned at last year’s national finals were that if they want to win this tournament, they definitely need an experienced coach and to have an affiliation with an academy. “The academies have a huge advantage over us and I think that winning the nationals is going to be a challenge,” Spandiel said.
“However, playing against academies is also very motivating. While our players might not match their level, I tell them that they must learn from these boys and they will become better players themselves. It’s an eye-opener for management as well as we learn a lot and take the lessons back for the next crop of players. In this way soccer standards keep improving.”
Spandiel sees Okiep High School, who they played against in the provincial finals last year, as probably their strongest opposition. “We want to be the provincial champions for the fourth successive year.”
Apart from the massive prize money on offer in the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, visits by scouts is very important for the boys. “Sanlam is doing a brilliant job in uplifting soccer development in the country. Our boys also get to play in front of scouts, which is very important for schools that are in rural areas and outlying towns.”