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Wednesday Jul 09, 2014. 12:51
Coach of Western Cape, Gordon Witbooi, says it will be tough for the defending champions to retain their SAB National Championships crown.
The 2014 tournament kicks off in Mafikeng this Sunday with all eyes on the 2013 champions Western Cape and their coach Gordon Witbooi.
Gordon, how did the selection go for this SAB Western Cape team, was it a tough decision to take?
The selection of the Western Cape Team went very well. We started off by having a briefing session where the methods, guidelines and the purpose of the selection was discussed. Each selector was allowed to select the players he feels are good enough to represent the Province.
During intervals we met up with each other to verify, consult and to agree to disagree.
I have to admit this process went down very well, and by doing your selection individually it empowered coaches/selectors to make their own decisions and it obviously enhanced their confidence for any future selector roles.
How big is the team you work with that helps scout the talent and finalise the select team for this tournament?
Five Selectors were appointed including myself acting as the Co-ordinator of the Selectors.
How difficult will it be to hold onto the title that Western Cape won last year?
To be honest for any team that happens to be defending Champions will find it hard to defend their title. The standard of football, the quality of the coaches is very impressive and these factors enhance the overall quality of the Tournament.
Western Cape will have a completely new squad after many of last year’s players moved on to higher leagues. This of course makes this prestigious Tournament quite unpredictable.
What kind of football can fans expect from your team this year?
As a coach I always believe in playing a well-organized, structured type of winning football. I also want us to entertain and achieve our objective as this is a Tournament and not a league competition.
What is the average age of your squad?
The average age of my squad is 19 years.
How has this tournament helped the standard of the SAB Regional League in your region, the Western Cape?
To be honest Western Cape has lots of talented young footballers plying their trade in the SAB Regional League.
Every player wants to be part of the Provincial Under 21 squad, which makes it very competitive when it comes to selecting a Provincial Squad.
Our success of last year had a major impact on our Regional league this year as teams had to wait for the very last few games to confirm eventual Regional winners.
It also helped to improve the standards of the so called smaller Regions due to the fact that almost all of the Regions were represented in our final selection.