The final has arrived, the 2016 edition of Varsity Football will crown new champions as TUT, unbeaten so far this season, take on the resilient and buoyant UJ, when they lock horns on the 22nd of September 2016.
The University of Johannesburg have had a tough season, they had to grind out and defy the odds, and as a result their hard work has finally been rewarded with a place in the 2016 Varsity Football final. UJ, who have reached their second final in two seasons, face TUT, who ironically are also appearing in their second final in two season. A new champion will be crowned as both teams are looking for redemption, after both lost finals – in 2015 (TUT) and in 2014 (UJ).
“The team has had to grind out results,” said UJ coach Mandla Zwane. “And by always believing in ourselves and our abilities, we are where we deserve to be. We have been in a similar position before, in 2014, and nothing but ourselves can stop us from taking the trophy.”
Captain Ruwell Jagger had the same thoughts as the coach. “We cannot make the same mistake twice,” he said. “We are in a better position than 2014, because we are wiser and aware of the pressure TUT face in hosting a final in their own backyard. We will cause an upset.”
TUT are in the same position that UJ found themselves back in 2014, having yet to lose a match heading into the final. Coach Mandla was aware of this and said, “We are hoping for a moment of déjà vu, where TUT will lose the game that matters heading into the final. It’s something we experienced, and by that we are wiser and more comfortable with the underdog tag.
Both teams will be fighting for history as they hope to break their duck in hopes of a maiden 2016 Varsity Football title. The match will be played on Thursday the 22nd of September at the TUT Stadium, with TUT having home ground advantage.
Interesting facts ahead of final:
TUT: 2015 Final (Lost vs UWC)
UJ: 2014 Final (Lost vs UP TUKS)
UJ starting XI to face TUT: Mpumelelo Sambo, Lindani Mazibuko, Matthew Edwards, Funnynight Sisimogang, Dane Fortuin, Samuel Warder, Tshepo Tolo, Tebogo Mandyu, Katlego Ntsabeleng, Wade Rowe, Sbongeleni Gamede
Subs: Damaine Van Der Walt, Pogise Mabote, Ruwell Jagger, Sanele Mthethwa, Jared Abrahams, Melusi Mahlaba, , Ntokozo Tshabalala
By Nkosinathi Shazi