The women’s team of Wits University only make their second appearance in the Women’s Varsity Football tournament but are keen to better their semi-final exit from last time around.
The Smiling Assassins are in Group A alongside record champions the Tshwane University of Technology, the Durban University of Technology and the University of Pretoria Tuks.
In 2021, Wits surprised many by finishing the group stages unbeaten and securing a semi-final spot ahead of TUT, but they were beaten 4-0 by eventual winners the University of the Western Cape in the semis.
This time around, Wits want to go one round further and reach the final, despite participating with a largely new team.
“We just want to do our best, trying to get to the final if it’s possible,” assistant coach Steve Matlou told Varsity Football.
“But there are some challenges because we are working with a new team, but we look forward to competing in our second tournament.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Lesego Nkoane – aka Beast – bosses the midfield, scores goals and tracks back to help in defence. She is a team player and a marvel to watch.
Erin Herz – a defender, with lots of experience. Plays club football at JVW Girls.
DID YOU KNOW?
Wits won the bronze medal at the 2019 USSA Football National Club Championships and were named Team of the Tournament.
Lesego Nkoane played for the SA U20 team, while Nthabiseng Ramaisa represented SA U17.
TEAM FACT FILE
Nickname: Smiling Assassins
Goalkeepers: Nthabiseng Emily Ramaisa, Vuyiswa Hope Saba
Defenders: Amogelang Rachapela, Sanele Mkhize, Ofentse Malape, Megan Tayler Wade, Magogodi Litlhakanyane, Erin Herz, Makhomu Rolindela
Midfielders: Lerato Tshabangu, Lusanda Kuzwayo, Itumeleng Maphala, Anelise Mbatha, Jemma Meintjies, Lesego Nkoane, Carina De Assis Lopes, Ashante Mattera
Strikers: Sakhiwo Mnomiy, Ayanda Mnyembane, Ndiehenge Malose, Koena Maselesele
Head coach: Siphesihle Ngalmane
Assistant coach: Steve Matlou
Goalkeeper coach: Moegamat Jacobs
Sport Scientist: Yunata Andrews
Team Manager: Kelebogile Mochine