With a stern focus on brotherhood rather than individual brilliance, the Central University of Technology (CUT) hopes to leave a mark on this year’s instalment of Varsity Football.
Those were the sentiments of CUT captain Bongani Matsemela. “Some of the players are strictly students and some are from the ABC Motsepe League,” Matsemela told varsitysportsa.com. “It’s more of a brotherhood; we got each other’s backs,” he added.
As first-time participants in the Varsity Football spectacle, CUT have the responsibility of being the only bearers of the Free State torch. Their neighbours, University of the Free State, failed to qualify for the tournament after a lacklustre showing at the University Sports South Africa (USSA) games, which they hosted in March.
“We just want to take it one game at a time,” said assistant coach Junior Leeuw. While the mood in the training sessions is high and the players exhibit excitement, Leeuw felt it was necessary to take steps to maintain the mood. “We have to keep them grounded and treat them equally.”
Clearly aware of the possibility of egos developing within the team, Leeuw urged followers of the tournament to look out for the whole team, rather than single out individual players.
Although CUT are under no illusions and acknowledge that there are challenges ahead, they have huge expectations for the 10-week tournament. “We don’t expect much, but we expect to win every match,” declared Matsemela. Leeuw was more direct with his expectations. “We hope for a top four finish. We want to get to the semi-finals.”
Playing their first three matches away from home, CUT will begin their unfamiliar path in Alice against fellow debutants University of Fort Hare on Monday, 18th July 2016, at 19:00. The match will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
By Sam Styrax