19 September 2018


THE OFFICIAL BOKONE BOPHIRIMA GOVERNMENT NEWSPAPER

Mahikeng-born coach Marosane to share his world soccer experience with youth

by: Obakeng Maje   date:

The soccer development teams' successes lead to players being optimistic about their future in general. These are the words of Liverpool Academy Football Club coach, Elias Marosane.

The Mahikeng-based coach encourages young and upcoming players to invest their time in sport.

"Sport can also stimulate the economy because hosting a major sporting event will attract many high-profile tourists who will pump extra money into the economy. I have a local team where I engage with young players. We teach them the importance of sport within our society. We also educate them about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, crime and HIV-Aids," Marosane told Semphete.

The coach has just returned from a trip to Paris in France, which was part of his winning prize for the Danone competition. Though his BM Mokitime Primary School soccer team was knocked out of the competition, sponsors decided he was too good a coach to miss out on this opportunity. Marosane was elected by Mille, a leader in technical sportswear, to attend the Danone Nations Cup World finals, and what he learnt will benefit the teams he will share with.

"I have learnt a lot about the techniques of the game. What I have realized is the difference between European and South African players. European players are well-groomed and develop earlier than our players," said Marosane.

He added that the lack of infrastructure and training equipment hinder the processes to develop up and coming soccer players.

Marosane, who described his soccer team as having "disciplined, dedicated and determined" players, said he has used this team to change the lives of many.

"Our team creates a feeling of belonging and gives everyone an identity that they belong to. Our academy strategises the use of youth soccer programmes in the slums of Mahikeng to bring hope to the lives of thousands of destitute children. We have managed to use soccer to make a major breakthrough in creating sustainable programmes in the fight against the rampant drug and alcohol abuse," he said.

Marosane said sport can provide a positive image of the nation to the international community. He said studies have shown that sport, especially soccer, can positively contribute to strengthening national pride and forming a cohesive national identity.

One of Liverpool Academy FC players, Motseotsile Phetane, commended the support the team's players receive from their coach Marosane.

"I love playing soccer and I want to see myself plying my trade in the Absa Premier Soccer League soon. Marosane plays a pivotal role in grooming us and generally, he puts more efforts at the grassroots level. We are blessed to have a coach of Marosane's calibre because he is not only a coach, but a father figure," Phetane said.

Another player, John "Rau-Rau" Poo had this to say: "At the grassroots or community level, sport provides a useful way of creating an environment in which people can come together to work towards the same goal. We learn to show respect for others and share space and equipment. All these aspects are crucial to peace-building processes."

Bakang Bantsejang (15) said the youth academy bridges the gap between communities. "We spend more time together as players and that reduces chances of fights. We learn to rely on each other for assistance. We become one family and fight stereotypes that exist within the society," said Bantsejang, who said he dreams of becoming a teacher while continuing with his soccer career on the side.

Benny's Sports Academy and Development returned to South Africa after a successful 2016 Danone Nations Cup World Final, where they finished in 14th place overall. 32 countries from across the world competed in that final. This was South Africa's best finish since 2009 when the country won the tournament.

On their return to South Africa, Coach Mbishi Mokwena said Benny's game against Brazil was their toughest. "The world finals were also a learning experience and the way the Brazilians used the field was an eye opener and very interesting to watch. We were lucky to lose by such a narrow margin and our goalkeeper, Hulisani Mashau, had a cracker of a game," he said.

"We went back to the drawing board after that game and used Brazil's tactic against Uruguay and it worked in our favour."

It was the game against Italy that took the youngsters by surprise.

"It was the first all girls team that has ever played at the world finals," said Mokwena. "We had been warned that the girls were going to be taller and stronger than us, which was the case, and they were academy girls from the famous Italian Club, AS Roma, so we were expecting a tougher challenge which did not turn out to be the case. However, I have to admit there were a couple of girls that were exceptionally skilled on the ball. They showed us a few amazing shibobos that left our boys standing," said the coach.

Caption: Liverpool Academy Football Club coach, Elias Marosane, who just returned from the