Border U19 boys shine at IPT, after five-year absence, team returns to finish fourth

HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENT: The Border U19 boys soccer team with their head coach, Tevin Klaasen. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Border Under 19 boys soccer team claimed a commendable fourth-place finish at the 2023 Interprovincial Tournament from October 3-6, despite having only returned to the competitive circuit for the first time this year after a five-year absence.

The Border team played in five games, with the following results:

Border 1-1 Northern District A (Northern Cape)

Border 2-1 KZN

Border 1-0 Metro South District (Mitchells Plain, Western Cape)

Semifinal: Border 0-0 Durban Schools (lost 2-3 on penalties)

Third/fourth playoff: Border 1-1 Metro South District (Mitchells Plain, Western Cape) (lost 3-4 on penalties)

The team exceeded expectations to finish fourth overall. Captain Mbulelo Gobe’s last-minute header in the opening game, Cade Kock’s brace and last-minute goal against KwaZulu-Natal, and Apelele Swazi’s penalty save in the semifinal showcased the team’s resilience and determination.

The Border team’s approach to the game set them apart.

They employed a direct and straightforward style of play.

Their game plan revolved around moving the ball up the field, maintaining pressure on their opponents, and attacking and defending from the front.

This approach was instrumental in their success at the tournament.

In preparation, the coaching team said they had focused on building team chemistry.

Participating in the tournament after a five-year absence marked development in school football in the region.

Proud team manager Matthew Geech said, however, that sponsorship was needed as the players’ families could not afford the financial burden.

The Border U19 Boys soccer team’s performance at the IPT was testament to their dedication, teamwork and talent, said Geech.

This was also evident in the national first team boys soccer circuit, which saw Selborne and Dale College finish off 2023 in 12th and 13th place respectively out of 25 schools across the country.

Geech believes this marks the beginning of renewed efforts at grassroots level to produce professional players from the Border region.


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