It truly was a season to remember for the University of Pretoria as they recovered from a poor start to their campaign and marched all the way to the final where they beat the Tshwane University of Technology 2-0.
UP-Tuks captain Lawrence Ntswane hoisted the trophy after Simbongile Njokwe and Odwa Makha netted goals for the now three-time Varsity Football champions and head coach, Tlisane Motaung, was full of praise for his players that stuck their hands up and did what was necessary to claim the silverware.
“Firstly, I’d like to congratulate everybody that was involved in our campaign, from the players to the coaches and everybody in between,” said Motaung.
“I am very proud of how the players approached the final. Their maturity and professionalism went a long way in preparing them for the match and allowed them to execute the game plan perfectly during the final,” he added.
Njokwe led the team with excellence while Ntswane was away at the World University Games and Makha ended the season with seven goals to his name but Motaung stated that he could not single out any one player as it was a collective effort from the outset.
“How do I even justify selecting a man of the competition when they all pulled their weight? Our senior players led with distinction, the new faces showed us how hungry they were. Our goalkeepers did us proud while our forwards picked off goals for us. I cannot even begin to describe how proud of these men I am,” exclaimed Motaung.
It was not smooth sailing for UP-Tuks as they struggled to find their feet in the beginning of the competition but Motaung and his charges stuck to their guns which ultimately paid off.
“We went into Varsity Football after a successful USSA tournament and although we lost in the final [to TUT] we knew that we had the right formula to win Varsity Football,” stated Motaung.
“We did not panic and we trusted our systems. We backed ourselves and as we started finding the back of the net more often, our confidence grew,” he added.
The taste of victory is still lingering in the minds of UP-Tuks but they are not resting on their laurels as preparation for next year’s Varsity Football competition has already begun and Motaung signed off on the 2017 season with a special message.
“The University of Pretoria Football team would like to thank Varsity Sports, the university, our supporters and the media for all of their support throughout 2017. We could not have done this without you. Until next year,” he said.
By Dan Lombard