By Sinenhlanhla Ngwenya (3 mins read)
Following a clear win against CUT in their opening match, UJ will take on last seasons’ champions TUT, who are very much a title contenders, tomorrow from 18:15 at the UJ Stadium in the Soweto Campus.
Both teams have started off on a winning campaign with TUT also claiming three points in their opening match against UP TUKS.
The Pretoria giants will bring their intensity to face an inexperienced UJ side with a new class of players wanting to prove championship contender status.
“Inexperience is a challenge but a good one because the players have to use it to test themselves,” said UJ coach Mandla Zwane.
A total of 90% of the team are new players with four sitting out due to injuries from the previous preseason matches, while others graduated and some having faced the misfortune of falling out on their studies with F-7. But the captain and the coach remain optimistic.
Currently, UJ holds fourth place on the log after beating CUT with one goal, earning themselves three points.
Other teams at the top with the same amount of points include NWU, TUT and UFS Kovsies, all teams coming from recent wins last week. This can be an interesting game putting UJ in deep waters as they swim with the sharks.
“Me and my teammates have got the heart of lions, so I guess that’s what we’re taking with us to war,” said UJ captain Siphelele Mbhele.
“You can’t buy experience and so if we stay together, we are strong but divided we fall,” he explained.
For the upcoming match, Zwane told The Open Journal that there will be no changes to the starting line-up and that the only difference they are bringing is a new attitude.
“Varsity football is dramatic; it’s full of drama. One minute is this and the next minute is that so you always have to be ready and focus on your job and what you have to do,” said Zwane.
In order to keep them physically ready for the season, the UJ coach mentioned that they take part in pre-season games and friendlies.
After playing TUT, UJ will meet in the 3rd round UP TUKS, who have started their campaign on a bad note. TOJ
Correction: TUT is the defending champion, not a runner up as we had stated. They Won the 2018 Varsity football cup. (Correction made by Kupakwashe Kambasha on Thursday, 01st August 2019)
Reporting by Sinenhlanhla Ngwenya. Editing by Kupakwashe Kambasha and Gaby Ndongo. Feature image accompanied by UJ player in Orange tassels for the ball in a match against CUT. Image obtained from Varsity Sports twitter account.