The University of Johannesburg are eager to regain the title they won in 2014 when the fifth edition of the Varsity Football women’s tournament kicks off in Potchefstroom next week. Unlike the men’s version, which is spread over two months, the women’s teams compete in a weekend tournament, with the top two in each pool qualifying for the semifinals.
The pools each comprise four teams and the matches will take place at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds from next Thursday to Saturday. The final will be played on September 28. After finishing fourth in the University Sport South Africa week this year, UJ women’s manager Nolufefe Sila said their preparations for the tournament had gone well.
“Under coach Jabulile Baloyi, everything is on track,” she said. “The players have been pushing hard and are responding well to the training methods. “We are optimistic we will produce some positive results.”
Following their victory three years ago, Sila said they were knocked out in the 2015 semifinals, but did not fare as well last year. However, this time, she added, they were determined to compete well, aiming to dethrone champions Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).
She acknowledged there would be some tough games in their pool. “I believe that all the teams in our group are formidable so we cannot underestimate any team,” said Sila. In their pool, UJ, who have been competing in the Sasol Gauteng league this season, will face Central University of Technology, University of Western Cape and NWU-Pukke.
The other pool will comprise University of Free State, University of Pretoria-Tuks, TUT and University of Cape Town. The UJ manager said the Varsity Football event played a big role in the development of their squad. “It is going to mean a lot for the players because it gives them good exposure and they can learn a great deal from the occasion. “We have an exciting combination of experience and youth, and players to look out for are Presocious Matabologa, Thato Letsoso and Nolwazi Mathebula.”