Excellence take on Iran

13 April 2007 - 02:00
By unknown

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

South Africa begin their 2007 World Schools Soccer Cup campaign with a game against Iran in Santiago, Chile, on Sunday.

South Africa is represented in the 20th biennial tournament by the Transnet Football School of Excellence, who are coached by legend Dan "Dance" Malesela.

"We have played four friendly matches, which I must say helped us a lot in terms of tightening the areas where we had some leaks.

"I think the challenge that is facing us is that all the other participating schools are a closed book to us, the other thing is that we cannot gauge them on the basis of the performance of their national teams.

"Schools football is different, it will be misleading for us to think that schools from Brazil, France or even Japan will play their national teams.

"I'm pleased with the level of commitment in the camp, everybody in the camp is looking forward to the tournament and doing well for South Africa.

"We are aware that we will be in the spotlight in this tournament by virtue of South Africa being the host country for the 2010 World Cup," added Malesela.

The former Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and Manning Rangers defender said they would leave for South America tomorrow.

"In terms of the tournament's programme, the organisers have decided Saturday as a day for training for the participating countries," Malesela said.

"I will be using it to loosen-up after the long flight from Johannesburg to Santiago, we have done our training at home."

Excellence started their final preparations with a 4-0 win over Benoni Premier United Under-19s and went on to draw 1-1 with Africa Youth Sports Academy.

PSL referee Isaac Arendse will leave with Excellence.