The Varsity Football captains look ahead to this year’s women’s tournament, which will be played in a bio-bubble at the University of Pretoria from 29 September to 4 October.
NOMFUNDO BUTHELEZI (DUT)
How have DUT prepared for 2021 Varsity Football?
Preparing for this tournament hasn’t been easy, especially during this critical period of the Covid-19 pandemic. We didn’t have enough time to prepare as amateur football and varsity sports were put on hold for quite a long time, but we did our best to make sure that we are physically and mentally fit to compete. We used the vacation period to prepare ourselves. We had to work harder than we usually do by training twice a day, four days a week, and playing friendly matches every weekend for the whole of August. We had to adjust our training in September to allow for recovery but still played challenging matches against competitive teams, such as Durban Ladies [National League] and other teams like Lindelani Ladies FC [Sasol League].
How do DUT plan to deal with the challenge of playing the tournament in a bio-bubble?
We have been in a camp as a team following all Covid-19 protocols with the aid of our executive team members and coaches. Being in a camp, in a place with different climate conditions from what we are used to in Durban, will help us to adapt easily and quickly to the bio-bubble situation. So our main plan is to stay disciplined and follow all protocols that will be in place, on and off the field.
What are your expectations for DUT heading into the tournament?
I expect the tournament to be challenging in many ways, as it will be our first time playing in a bio-bubble. I expect my team to be competitive with a good, strong fighting spirit. We are well prepared to bring our best game and remain consistent all the way. I know it’s the first time that DUT are playing in this tournament, but we’ll ensure we make our presence felt. We’re not here to complete but to compete!
THATO LETSOSO (TUT)
How have TUT prepared for 2021 Varsity Football?
We have prepared extremely well. We’ve had a few friendlies and are fully prepared for the tournament. We have experienced coaching staff and learned a lot from them. Hopefully we will be able to execute!
How do TUT plan to deal with the challenge of playing the tournament in a bio-bubble?
We haven’t really prepared for or had any strategies for the bio-bubble. But our previous varsity tournament was in a bio-bubble setup, so this won’t be much different.
What are your expectations for TUT heading into the tournament?
I expect nothing but fun! We are here to have fun and showcase our talent. But we expect a lot of pressure; this tournament is not going to be a walk in a park. So we need to focus and take each game as it comes.
MORONGWA MANAMELA (TUKS)
How have Tuks prepared for 2021 Varsity Football?
We have prepared very well. There were days we would train twice a day to keep the team fit and simulate the day two fixtures of the tournament. We have played friendly matches against the Tuks boys to experience high-pressure games and improve our fitness level. The league matches have also played a major role in contributing to our preparations.
How do Tuks plan to deal with the challenge of playing the tournament in a bio-bubble?
We will bring an Xbox and board games along, like 30 Seconds, to keep the team busy and build team spirit. We will also bring our laptops to stay on track with our studies. Playing without spectators at the stadium is now the new normal, so we are mentally ready for that.
What are your expectations for Tuks heading into the tournament?
We have a team to compete and win matches, but we are approaching the tournament with the mentality to take each game one at a time. This will keep us motivated and focused, leaving room to showcase our character. The ladies are excited and ready for the tournament.
SHAKEERAH JACOBS (WITS)
How have Wits prepared for 2021 Varsity Football?
We have prepared well and are really excited to be participating in our first Varsity Football tournament.
How do Wits plan to deal with the challenge of playing the tournament in a bio-bubble?
The bio-bubble is something the majority of the team have experienced before, in terms of living and playing one place, with the USSA tournament. So I think we will adjust well.
What are your expectations for Wits heading into the tournament?
We will take it a game at a time. Our focus is all on DUT on Wednesday. We want to compete and win.