Schools open after the mid-year holiday next week and, as per tradition, the second half of the winter sporting season will kick off. Queen’s college will start the term with a tour down to East London to take on Grens High School next weekend. The first team will be desperately trying to rescue their season which has been woeful thus far. But while the big boys have had a hard time finding their feet, the U15s have shown more pedigree, absolutely dominating the opposition.
In the 15 games they have played, they have only lost two; a loss away to Dale College and a close game against St Andrew’s at home in the last match before the break. While the losses of the first team have raised questions about discipline, coaching tactics and the mentality of the team, how have the U15s managed to buck the trend?
The team is under the stewardship of Bantu Mbityana, the offensive coach, and Siyabonga Mzileni who concentrates on defence.
“The coaching staff at Queen’s have identified defence as the area that needs to improve. We have always had good offensive play at Queen’s. The wins we have had are a product of that,” said Mzileni.
With the whole junior structure focusing on defence, the coaches believe this strategy is paying dividends.
“It is about getting the boys confident in their abilities. Once we have that, they can go and express themselves on the field.
“But we also have a very good group. As a collective, they want to achieve something special,” said Mzileni.
“At the beginning of the year, we sat down with them and set goals. We had a tough start in the first half of the season last year; losing most of the games. We managed to finish strongly, winning most of the second half matches. It was a matter of building on that and fostering discipline,” said Mbityana. Mbityane and Mzileni praise the hard work put in by the group, saying they have been having sessions this week before schools open.
“The loss against St Andrew’s dampened the mood, but we have had good sessions to prepare for the rest of the season,” said Mbityana. With only four games left to play, what are some of the positives as they look to close off the season?
“We had a tough game against Selborne but we won away. We won’t be changing anything when we face them and this time we will have the crowd behind us. The crowds must also come and support the boys; the aunties must come and fill the stadium,” said Mbityana.