The University of Johannesburg Varsity team is picking up where they left off last year, securing their second win in game week 3 after beating Wits 2-0, with Thulani Zandamela on the score sheet to help his side claim maximum points.
The UJ attacking midfielder was involved in four of the Orange Army’s five goals this campaign so far, helping them to re-climb into the top 4 of the 2022 Varsity Football edition after losing their opening match.
This week, Varsity Football caught up with the UJ star to chat to him about the turn-around in form, the pressure as defending champions and his ambitions.
Varsity Football: Can you please state your full name, the qualification you’re enrolled in and the position you’re playing?
TZ: Thulani Jeffery Zandamela, playing attacking midfielder and studying towards a Diploma in Tourism Management.
Varsity Football: You had a slow start as a team in this year’s campaign. Why was that?
TZ: It was our first game as a new squad and the exposure to the crowd on the stands was a bit overwhelming.
Varsity Football: How does it feel to win back-to-back away games?
TZ: It feels great. Our comeback as a team was strong and it gives us confidence for our upcoming games.
Varsity Football: You are in the top 4 in terms of the log standings, do you think you can handle the pressure that comes with you defending the title?
TZ: The pressure is there, but I strongly believe in the technical team and the squad that we can win it again.
Varsity Football: You had a fantastic start this year, take us through your journey towards your good performances?
TZ: The first game was not good, we weren’t gelling together as a team. We had to go back to the drawing board and rectify where we went wrong, and that’s what improved us as a team and individuals.
Varsity Football: You contributed a few of the UJ goals, how does it feel and how are you planning on being consistent?
TZ: It feels great to be on my best level and to have helped the team so much. I plan on being consistent, by training regularly and fixing small details to improve my game even more.
Varsity Football: What can the Orange Army fans expect from you given the brilliant form you’ve had recently?
TZ: They can expect more goals and more goal contributions.
Varsity Football: You are playing UFS Kovsies at home this week, will you be approaching this game the way you did in previous fixtures?
TZ: In previous fixtures, we approached all games by keeping things simple and relaxed and not focusing on external factors. We just did what we knew how to do best. I will be using the same approach for the upcoming Kovsies game.
Varsity Football: Roughly, how many goals and assists are you aiming to get?
TZ: 10 a piece, meaning 10 assists and 10 goals is my highest target.
Varsity Football: How are your teammates playing a part in making sure that you deliver each game?
TZ: Most of the time things don’t go well for me and my teammates show me love and encouragement by lifting my spirit so that I can get back to my best form.
By Gontse Hlophe.