It has been a start to forget for the University of the Western Cape. They have lost both their opening games, which put the 2017 semi-finalists on the back foot. The opening games for the Bellville side have been away and since the inception of Varsity Football, UWC have done poorly on the road and excelled at home, and subsequently earned themselves the tag of “Bad Travellers”. The Salie Adams-led side have not done anything to shrug off that tag, but will now be hoping to prove their critics right, by maintaining their exceptional home record.
If the game against Wits University was not a wake-up call for the technical team, then this side will not do well in this edition. For the entire 90 minutes at Wits Stadium the visitors could not muster one shot on target let alone an attempt. They are a shadow of the side that scored goals in the 2017 edition led by the former Captain Thulani Mkhosi, Phiwokuhle Mpalala and Chad Smith. In the first two games Akhona Cawe has been trusted with the duties of leading the attack for UWC and the striker has been poor for the 2015 champions. In two games Cawe has failed to even register an attempt and that leaves much to be desired about his ability to lead the frontline.
Varsity Football caught up with 2015 winning Captain Reon October, who shared his thoughts on what the team is currently going through.
“Two back-to-back losses in the opening rounds is not where you want to find yourself in this tournament and that is not where the boys want to see themselves and it will be difficult for them to get back”
The shot-stopper is the only player to have led the “Bushies” to the trophy and by the looks of how UWC have started this season, chances of them repeating the class of 2015’s feat are slowly fading away.
“They are just a bunch of individuals that have the talent to play but lack those leadership skills when the chips are down. For me I haven’t seen a player that is willing to die for the badge. If you look at the team that I was captain of, we never had star players from big teams; we had characters.
“If you look at players like Thando Ziwele, Akhona Bonga, Thulani Mkhosi and Josh Silent – those guys played for the badge first and foremost and also to make sure that the students are happy. You have guys from Ajax Cape Town and Cape Town City but they are not showing us why they are playing for those teams, whereas there are LFA players who are willing to play and die for the team, but they are overlooked because they compete with players from those teams.”
With a home game in Round Three against TUT, UWC will be looking for a win that would see them break their duck for this season. TUT will be no pushovers as they have won and drawn their opening matches.
Kick-off is at 18:30 at UWC Stadium.
By Dumisani Koyana