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UWC looking to return to glory days

UWC are ready and fired up to get the ball rolling in the 2023 Varsity Football tournament.

The Cape Town-based team did not feature in the last two instalments (2021, 2022) and according to head coach Dr Lwando Mdleleni the squad has a clear goal – to tackle their challenges head-on.

The pedigree of Mdleleni as a footballer within the UWC ranks spans nearly two decades. The former captain led the side for seven years after joining the team in 2006. Upon retirement, he transitioned into an assistant coach role in 2015 and six seasons later, in 2021, was handed the head coaching role.

Despite the high confidence levels, Mdleleni strongly believes the competition will not be easy as he hopes to restore the team to its former glory when they lifted the trophy in 2015.

"It is important to note that we are not oblivious to the challenges that lie ahead. We acknowledge the fact that we have been absent from the Varsity Football competition for the last two years, and this presents us with a substantial hurdle to overcome. However, we are prepared to confront this daunting task head-on."

Cape Town is a region known for producing some of the world's finest footballers. UWC has tapped into this and recruited some of Cape Town's finest talent, something which Mdleleni hopes to use to his full advantage.

"We have a good cohort of players who have done very well in the junior tournaments. We have Shuaib Martin from Cape Town Spurs, who won Bayhill Player of the Tournament in 2022. We also have Shakur Hector and Imaan January who won the Bayhill tournament in 2023. Then there is Sabelo Msimango who is also a great talent, as well as Lisa Nogcinisa a former Cape Umoya Junior."

UWC 24-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Nyiko Khoza, Leathan Croats, Asanele Nqevu.

Defenders: Siyabulela Mcimeli, Riyaad Prout, Damian Overmeyer, Jadan Zeeman, Shakur Hector, Craig Joemath, Qhayisa Lekata, Mogammat Ridhaa Esack.

Midfielders: Matthew Peterson, Khanya Dyani, Riyaaz Koopstadt, Sandile Nomjila, Shuaib Martin, Relebohile Matima, Arnold Bafana Dube.

Forwards: Devon Nolan, Juanito Manuel, Luyolo Mpokotya, Leandro de Sousa, Nkosingiphile Ncwane, John Tambwe Kapita.

UWC kick off their campaign against CUT away on Thursday 27 July at the CUT Stadium (18:30).

For all the fixtures click HERE.

by Lyndon Julius


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