A good captain leads by example, is confident but humble, and knows how to motivate his teammates.
This is how Blessing Mabasa describes his role as captain of Tuks’ Varsity Football team. Judging by his performance against TUT on Wednesday, he is a man who lives by his words.
Mabasa scored his team’s only goal and was also brilliant on defence, anticipating what would happen before it did. He deservedly won the FNB Player of the Match award.
Some might argue that Tuks can only blame themselves for a lapse of concentration late in the game when they conceded an equaliser but Mabasa is not too phased.
‘I think it was a good game of football,’ he says. ‘It was good to feel nervous before the game and using that nervousness to be excited and play my heart out to make sure the team defends well at all costs.
‘I really enjoy playing competitive games. They determine whether you are a player who dies when the pressure is on or who thrives and plays to your fullest potential.’
The centre-back describes himself as a student of football.
‘I am continuously watching videos and analysing what the players do. I also want to learn about the team’s various tactics. Finally, the challenge is to apply what I have learned on the field.’
As far as role models are concerned, Mabasa is a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo.
‘I admire his ability to do everything an attacking player can possibly do on a soccer field.’
Asked whether he would be able to prevent Ronaldo from scoring should he get the opportunity to play against him, Mabasa laughs.
‘It’s easy to say yes, but all I can promise is that I will give him a tough time.’
Tuks head coach Nicholas Stothard enjoyed making his Varsity Football coaching debut against big rivals TUT. Seven Tuks players also experienced Varsity football for the first time as well as two of the substitutes.
‘I thought we were the better team,’ says Stothard. ‘We created the majority of the chances and I don’t believe TUT tested us too much. Obviously, we had a bit of a lapse in concentration in the end and we were punished.
‘I am excited to see the team grow during the tournament and, as we do at Tuks, peak at the right time. I am confident that all those chances we had yesterday will, on another day, go in.’
Tuks will play Kovsies on Friday (16:00, SuperSport Football, DStv channel 205) and Stothard predicts another tough encounter.
‘The aim will definitely be to convert our chances and stay alert for 90 minutes even if the opposition is not really testing us,’ he says.
– Article courtesy TuksSport
Photo: Reg Caldecott/TuksSport