A case of once bitten, twice shy

Matome Lebea

Matome Lebea

Limpopo have learnt from last year's mistakes and will have a full squad for the Metropolitan U-19 national playoffs.

Last year the Limpopo team was forced to play with eight players during the Coca-Cola U-17 national championship that were hosted by the Sedibeng region in Vereeniging. This was after most of the team members were ineligible to play since they were found to be overage. The team failed to pick up a win as a result.

During Sowetan's visit to the team's training camp at Polokwane Cricket Club on Thursday, 18 players and the technical team were hard at training.

"We have verified all the documents of the players and we are satisfied that they will represent the province well," Ngoako Rapholo, Limpopo's team manager, said.

"They are born in 1989 and 1990, which is a requirement for the tournament.

"We are not intimidated by any of our four opponents in group A, we will make full use of home-ground advantage to win this inaugural tournament."

He said: "The players had seven full days of training and match practice ahead of this tournament. We are only waiting for our first victims, Gauteng, whom we entertain today at 4pm."

Limpopo, coached by Steve Mohlabane, also face Mpumalanga, Free State and Eastern Cape are in Group A. Group B comprises North West, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape.

The tournament is hosted at Seshego Stadium from today until Saturday, with nine provinces battling it out for the inaugural title after the tournament was switched from a club to a provincial championship.

National development coaches such as Serame Letsoaka, Tebogo Moloi and Steve Komphela will assist in the selection of national development teams and the Metropolitan All-Stars.