Jersey number 10 is an iconic number in football, usually associated with midfield schemers… but not at TUT.
This season, the defending Varsity Football champions handed their #10 jersey to Thabiso Lebitso who plays on the right wing. However, as the award of that ‘skippa’ suggests, he’s not your ordinary winger.
The 23-year-old from Sebokeng has been striking fear into defenders since 2017 with his searing pace, but is showing a finer appreciation for the ‘end product’ this campaign.
Already the third year Sports Management student has scored two goals (against UJ – as he did previously in 2017 – last night against UKZN) and claimed two MTN Moment of Brilliance awards for those goals as well as the FNB Player of the Match prize against NWU Mafikeng.
‘Machesa’, who hails from Sebokeng just like his footballing hero and Varsity Football graduate Thabo Mnyamane, prefers to talk to varsitysportssa.com more about his team than himself, and their challenges in winning back-to-back titles.
How does it feel to be a champion?
It feels awesome to be a champion and an amazing feeling to play in the Varsity Football finals.
Everything is amazing from the fans, the quality set-up and the most important thing is to lift the trophy while being on TV.
You haven’t had any home matches since 2018; is that affecting the team?
It is very bad for us not being able to play in front of our fans, it is always an issue for us when we have to play away matches.
We have to travel a lot and we get tired easily before playing; but we proved that we can deal with the pressure when we won the Varsity Football title without any home matches.
What is your goal this season?
We always speak as a team, as we are not focussed on individual players because working as a team has proven to be our strong point.
We would like to defend our title and personally it would be a dream for me to play in the PSL.
What has been your highlight in the Varsity Football?
The biggest highlight was when we won the tournament last year in front of our own fans [who made their presence felt at Wits’ home ground], it was an amazing feeling that will stay with me forever.”
You were selected to be part of the USSA national team for the World Student Games, how was the experience?
It was a great experience being one of the 20 players that were selected to represent South Africa. Seeing different countries competing at the biggest stage was a unique experience and I will never forget that.
However, we didn’t perform well as a team but we managed to win two matches out of four. It wasn’t that bad but in conclusion it was amazing.
By Lakhe Thwala