31 July 2017 – They may have failed to make the SAB U21 National Championships finals, but Northern Cape coach James Mothibi is impressed with what his team learnt at the tournament.

The former Orlando Pirates striker coached a Northern Cape team that won matches against Gauteng and Limpopo, even though Gauteng have made it to the last four and went on to dethrone USSA.

Having had a taste of professional football in his heydays, playing for sides such as African Wanderers, Orlando Pirates, Mpumalanga Black Aces and Maritzburg United, Mothibi said he was impressed with the opportunities given not only to players but to aspiring coaches to improve their knowledge in pressured situations.

The former striker was saying this in relation to playing more than one match a day, while still trying to keep the players sharp and competitive.

“It is difficult to play 180 minutes in a day but this is what you need if you are building a strong team that will compete with the best in the country. We really have to thank SAFA and SAB for presenting the players and the coaches with this opportunity,” Mothibi said.

“I have found everything impressive at this tournament and it is well organised. Development remains a critical issue in the country and we need to get it right not by just making tournaments available for players but by also preparing coaches. We have a few good ones with SAFA licenses and CAF licenses. That for me is a positive step,” the former Orlando Pirates striker said.

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