Season looking up for Wits FC

STILL KICKING: Wits FC is steadily trying to ascend to their place as champions of university league football. The team is currently participating in the varsity football league, where they have won two out of five matches.

STILL KICKING: Wits FC is steadily trying to ascend to their place as champions of university league football. The team is currently participating in the varsity football league, where they have won two out of five matches.

 

It was a season of drawing or losing for Wits university senior men’s team until two matches ago when they managed to start an unexpected winning streak.

It started off as a shaky campaign for the Wits side in July when they suffered a goalless loss against both North West University and Tshwane University of Technology. The season seemed like it would be something that would end in tears for Wits supporters.

At that point it looked as though Wits was leaving the tournament the same way they did in 2013 – bombed out with the worst loss to TUT, 3-0.

The change for the Wits side came in Round 5 when they brought the momentum of the UP Tuks side to a screeching halt.

Tuks had won two matches in a row, and suffered only one loss in the season so far. But their streak was stopped by Wits FC with a 2-1 win.

Round 6 also saw Wits beat the Vaal University of Technology 2-1 on their home turf infamously known as the slaughter house.

This sudden but welcome change of events leaves Wits at 4th place on the Varsity Football Log with one more match to go before the semi-final round.

Wits will meet Walter Sisulu University on Monday evening at the Bidvest Wits Stadium. Kick-off is at 6pm.

 

Wits boys shield their position on top

Tendai Dube and Lutho Mtongana

The Wits Varsity Shield team is back with a competitive bang, sitting top of the log with three wins and a draw in their first four matches of the season.
FNB Wits has been unstoppable since the season kicked off a month ago and this week was no different when the boys drew 37-all against the University of the Western Cape (UWC) at home.
Wits captain and flank Richard Crossman said the team has been fortunate in getting this far in the Cup.
“It’s been a huge transformation, we have a whole bunch of new guys, new management, and they are all fresh from matric. We only have two or three senior guys,” said Crossman.
Although they are currently leading the log, the team still have to work hard to stay ahead of the game and, according to Crossman, are training intensely.
“Our weaknesses is that we are young and inexperienced but that could also be our strength because our guys are young and are willing to learn,” Crossman said.
In their first game of the year the Wits boys went head-to-head against a normally challenging Fort Hare, and defeated them with a solid 39-24 win.
They then proceeded to squash the TUT Vikings with 71-36 in their next match on February 19.

CROSSING THE LINE: Richard Crossman, Wits Rugby Captain, flank  Photo: Tendai Dube

CROSSING THE LINE: Richard Crossman, Wits Rugby Captain, flank Photo: Tendai Dube

On March 9 Wits will be playing against Fort Hare on the Wits Rugby Field and Crossman is determine that they will come out on top once again with their home ground advantage.
There are five teams in the Varsity Shield this year: UWC, Wits, Fort Hare, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). Wits needs to finish at the top of the log at the end of the season to secure a chance to move back into the Varsity Cup.

Wits Soccer shoots for Nationals

HECTIC HEADER: During soccer practice at Diggs fields on Tuesday, Wits team captain Tebogo Digoamaje said he is confident in his team’s performance for their upcoming semi-final match against Tuks in the USSA Gauteng League, where a top three spot will get them to nationals.    Photo: Lameez Omarjee

HECTIC HEADER: During soccer practice at Diggs fields on Tuesday, Wits team captain Tebogo Digoamaje said he is confident in his team’s performance for their upcoming semi-final match against Tuks in the USSA Gauteng League, where a top three spot will get them to nationals.
Photo: Lameez Omarjee

If the Wits men’s soccer team beat Tuks, Pretoria University’s log leaders, next week, it will go through to the national finals of the University Sports South Africa (USSA) tournament in December.

Through this possible win at next week Tuesday’s match, Wits would attain one of the top three positions in the Gauteng USSA League and would then qualify for the national tournament to be held in Durban, in the first week of December.
Meeting for the second time with their opponents, Wits University football coach Karabo Mogudi said his men were more than prepared for Tuks.

Cruising through competition

“They are good football players; they play high intensity football which is a strong point for them. I’ve prepared the team to play the same as well. They must bring it on because we know we [are] going to bring it too,” said Mogudi.

Wits thrashed Tuks with a 3-1 win the last time there was a face-off between the two in August. Mogudi is confident his team could win against them again, even though the match is in Pretoria, on their rival’s home turf when they duel on Tuesday, September 23.

The rankings so far are as follows: Tuks first, Vaal University of Technology (VUT) second, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) third and Wits, in fourth place.

Attaining a position in the top eight of the USSA national champs will then qualify Wits for the Varsity Football league. They did not qualify last year.

“The team should be the star. I don’t want individualism … if the team wins, the players shine. It’s that simple”

Wits team captain Tebogo Digoamaje, 2nd year BSc Property Studies, who joined the team last year felt that their performance this season was better because the squad was bigger. About 25 players are registered for the USSA Gauteng League. Last year the smaller team battled without squad rotations between games.

Digoamaje revealed that past lost matches were due to mistakes they had made, rather than their opponent’s performance.

Unshakable confidence

However, he had “full respect for every opponent” they played against. In preparation for their game against Tuks, he said, “We’ve implemented a number of strategies, various ones, and the coach will decide which will lead us to victory and get us to nationals.”

Left wing Neo Makua, 3rd year BSc Quantity Surveying, felt confident that the team will go through to national championships. “The coach made us become a team, so we put the team before the individual.”

Although there are strong individuals playing, Mogudi emphasised team play rather than individual stars. “The team should be the star. I don’t want individualism … if the team wins, the players shine. It’s that simple,” he said.

Mogudi is confident in the team’s tactics and credits his technical team, which consists: assistant coach Dumisani Thusi, goal-keeper coach Kgabo Ditsebe and team manager, Sanele Nene for developing new ideas and strategies for success.

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Scoring boots lift Wits

The third round of Varsity Football was explosive indeed, with the Wits student team winning their first match of the campaign.

Winning 

In their second away game, Wits beat UCT 1-0 at the Green Mile in Cape Town. Winger Neo Makua netted a last-minute goal, pulling Wits from the bottom of the log to a comfortable fifth position.

This left UCT as stragglers on the log.

LOG: The Varsity Football log as it stands right now. Photo: Provided

LOG: The Varsity Football log as it stands right now. Photo: Provided

Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) also won their game, scoring one goal against North West University (NWU) – Mafikeng Campus – on the losers’ home ground.

Wits have scored the least goals in the campaign so far and have also conceded the most goals – eight in three games.

Booted off

NWU have been the highest scoring team in the tournament with 10 goals under their belt.

Until last Monday they had never lost a match. NWU have now conceded two goals and lost one match.

TUT has now taken top spot on the log and are now the only undefeated team in the competition.

Their unbeaten streak makes them early favourites to take the tournament, but there are still six weeks to go.

Strong defence play led to draws between Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and University of Pretoria (Tuks) and between the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the University of Free State .

Wits will take on UWC today at 7pm on their home ground, Milpark Stadium.

@pheladi_s

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Rhodes student murdered

THE body of a Rhodes student was found in Port Elizabeth on April 13. She had been stabbed in her neck and chest.

News24 reported that Lelona Thembakazi Fufu, 23, was murdered while hitchhiking to her graduation ceremony last week.

Police spokesperson André Beetge said that, since Fufu’s clothes were still on but her valuables were gone, police believed she had been robbed and then murdered.

Fufu would have been awarded her BSc Honours degree on Thursday evening.

 

Five universities under fire

INVESTIGATIONS  at five universities have revealed problems in the governance of certain institutions, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has announced.

According to Daily News, Nzimande announced on April 16 that Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), the University of Zululand, Walter Sisulu University, Vaal University of Technology (VUT) and the Central University of Technology were under scrutiny for maladministration.

Assessors at TUT reported “continued governance problems” and a lack of progress by the university council in complying with recommendations made by a commission of inquiry and an audit by KPMG.

At the University of Zululand, the assessor reported an “unhealthy”, bordering on “dysfunctional”, relationship between the vice-chancellor and the council.

A lack of student governance was also cited as an issue at the university, where there has been no SRC since 2009.

Walter Sisulu University is reportedly in “dire financial straits”, and academic results are substandard.

Nzimande said he had not yet been given the reports on Vaal University of Technology and Central University of Technology.

 

 

 

Payment saga at UKZN continues

THE University of KwaZulu-Natal has denied accusations that it paid random amounts of money into contract workers’ accounts, following a three-month delay in payments.

Some lecturers and tutors have not been paid since January, East Coast Radio reported, and have stopped lectures as a result.

After students threatened to protest in support of the staff, some payments were made on April 13 and 14. However, staff claim they were paid incorrect amounts. One person claimed to have been paid just R16.

The university has cited administrative glitches for the problems, and said that backlogs would be sorted out soon.