Wits goalie Matthew Carelse is one of three students nominated for the Varsity Cup Player of the Tournament award.

Wits Football team goalie, Matthew Carelse, is one of three students who have been nominated for the Varsity Cup Player of the Tournament.

Carelse joined the Wits Football team this year and played for Bidvest Wits before the Premier Soccer League season began in October 2017.

“It’s my first time playing varsity cup, and the level shocked me, as it was a lot tougher than I thought. But all in all it’s been a new experience for me and a good one at that,” he told Wits Vuvuzela.

Carelse discovered that he had been nominated for the award while scrolling through Facebook and saw the announcement on the Varsity Sports page. The first-year has previously been awarded the Samsung Moment of Brilliance for his performance during Wits Football Club’s first match against the University of KwaZulu-Natal on July 26.

The Bsc Property student said that the match was one of his highlights of the tournament. “I was still quite new to the players and coaches and they were impressed. We also went into the game as underdogs, and we came out as victors,” he said.

Wits Football coach Alzavian van Rheede, said that Carelse played a pivotal role in getting the team into the final, a first for them. “He has a great attitude at training, sense of discipline, and he’s one of the best performers. I wish it wasn’t done by popular vote because on merit he deserves it hands down.”

Wits Football captain, Tshireletso Motsogi, said that Carelse has been a valuable addition to the team. “I feel so happy for him. He deserves it. He really helped us get to the finals through the saves he made,” he said.

Xhanti Nesi, Varsity Football manager, says that the nominees had been selected by all the head coaches of the eight participating teams who voted for who they felt had been the first, second and third best player of the tournament, excluding members of their own teams. The three players with the highest votes then became nominees for the player of the tournament award.

“I think that all three players (nominees) are very strong and have a very bright future in football,” Nesi said.

The vote for Player of the Tournament is open to the public. Voting went live on Tuesday afternoon and will stay open until noon on Thursday, September 27.

The winner of the Player of the Tournament award will win a cash prize from FNB. Interested parties can vote on the Varsity Sport Facebook page by clicking the heart react on the nominees post. The winner will be announced after the final between Wits and the Tshwane University of Technology on Thursday, September 27.

FEATURED PHOTO: Wits goalie Matthew Carelse is one of three players nominated for Player of the Tournament.
Photo: Provided