The 2023 Men’s Varsity Football competition heads to the final round-robin matches on Thursday and the much-anticipated fixture taking centre stage is defending champions TUT against UJ in a repeat of last year’s final.
TUT then beat UJ 2-1 to hand the Pretoria side their third Varsity Football title.
This time around the two clash in a battle to secure the top spot on the log. UJ currently lying first with TUT just one point below them.
Although TUT suffered a shocking 2-nill defeat against UWC in the fourth round, it has been a solid campaign for Bushy Moloi’s side and midfielder Thuso Mlamla is looking to end his campaign with another title.
“What didn’t work for us this season is that we wanted to finish the round-robin stages without a defeat, unfortunately, we lost to UWC. We will continue with what is working for us, the brotherhood we have in the team and how we are always there for each other on and off the field. The technical team always motivate us to be positive.”
To many kids and youngsters around the world, football has been a tremendous tool to help them deal with demeaning social issues and an escape from poverty-stricken households. For his own life experiences, Mlamla has seen football as his refuge.
“A lot of things have affected me as a young kid but that round thing which is football, has helped me a lot. I don’t know how to explain it but today I have a role model in Sergio Busquets, I have education and plans because of football.
“I plan to play abroad in many competitive leagues and now I am still waiting for the Varsity Football season to end so I can go join my team, Pretoria Callies.”
The 24-year-old Rustenburg-born has been one of the key figures in the TUT squad and a big game player for the Red Army. He made his Varsity Football debut against rivals Tuks when he was 18 and scored the winning goal against NWU. Mlamla says he remembers those days well.
“I was so nervous and the stadium was full but I can say it was a special moment for me as the coach trusted me to start and finish the game. My best moment was against NWU, that same year in 2019 when I scored the winning goal from a long-range shot, it was a tough game and I am I managed to help my team.”
by Lehlogonolo Ditshego