There is no lack of confidence in the NWU-Mafikeng camp ahead of the 2023 Varsity Football tournament as the team is ready to leave it all out on the field in their quest for glory in the country’s premier student football competition.
In their bid to gauge their readiness, the team has engaged in a series of friendly matches against tough opponents over the past month or so. This includes outings against Tuks FC, SuperSport United FC as well as the Bafana Bafana team that recently won the bronze medal at the Cosafa Cup.
When asked about the objectives of these friendly fixtures, caretaker coach Amos Xabanisa says the primary goal was to assess the team's overall preparedness for the Varsity Football tournament.
"I can confirm that we are ready. We are now working on fine-tuning the technical aspects of our game and ensuring that our players are in good physical condition."
Xabanisa says the team’s opening fixture against UJ at home at the NWU-Mafikeng Stadium provides his players with a significant advantage, both in terms of the passionate supporters filling the stands and the players’ familiarity with the field. This is despite UJ boasting an impressive record in Varsity Football, having been crowned champions in 2021 and finalists in 2022.
"In our stadium, we have the unwavering support of our fans, and the players feel at home, which boosts their confidence. Furthermore, playing home games has a positive psychological impact on the team, giving us an extra edge.
“The encounter is poised to be an intense battle of skills and determination. My players have been honing their abilities and working tirelessly to ensure that they can go toe-to-toe with UJ, and most importantly secure a home win in our first game.”
NWU-Mafikeng 24-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Lesedi Mokwena, Kamogelo Matane, Reddel Precious Duh Ngulle.
Defenders: Kgopotso Mashapo, Aphelele Sibisi, Pascal Tivhane, Lucas Seromo, Lesego Motsepe, Kananelo Motsoeneng, Tumelo Mokgeseng, Sousa Mathe.
Midfielders: Lesiba Mahlong, Lesedi Bakai, Oatlhotse Ditlhobolo, Kopano Molefe, Gqokonqna Ntobeko, Itumeleng Mokgeseng, Thabang Majoro.
Forwards: Tshepang Matshediso, Heaven Sereetsi, Thato Ndela, Sibusiso Mahlangu, Reatlegile Kgosithebe, Itumeleng Selemela.
NWU-Mafikeng kick off their campaign against UJ on Thursday 27 July at NWU-Mafikeng Stadium (17:00).