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 FC Women’s side net in a draw to UJ

The Wits Football Club Women’s side conceded three points after they drew 1-1 against neighbours, University of Johannesburg (UJ) in their first match of this season’s USSA (University Sport South Africa) Gauteng Football League, on Tuesday evening at the Bidvest Stadium.

Talia Swartbooi’s goal for UJ sent a wakeup call to a sleepy Wits who tried desperately to push forward in  the second half.

A chance for Wits came in the 60th minute when Paballo Rantseuoa’s shot landed in the hands of Christa Kgamphe.

Wits tried for a rebound when goalie Kgamphe lost balance, but was not quick enough for Nonkosi Twayise who charged from behind the goal keeper and stopped Rantseuoa’s second attempt.

A UJ handball and a free kick gave Wits their equalizer scored by Linah Maphanga in the 76th minute.

UJ dominated the ball possession but fast-paced UJ strikers Presocious Motabologa and Molemo Mashego squandered the chance to break the deadlock.

A second chance in the dying minutes of the second half came from UJ’s Zanele Sukazi whose shot missed the post by an inch.

A notable new striker in the Wits side, Siphesihle Zungu, almost scored a second goal but was stopped short without support from her mid-fielders who were staggering at the back.

Wits assistant coach Jabulile Baloyi agreed that her girls were “sitting far too back” in their own half but was nonetheless impressed by the performance despite not being able to get enough time to do pre-season training.

“A draw with our neighbours whom we know have so much experience in their squad and we have a couple of first years in our squad is impressive, so I’m quite impressed with the squad,” said Baloyi.

Both Wits and UJ walked away with a point each on the log, placing the former at 6th place and the latter at 5th place.

The Wits women’s and men’s teams are set to play against the Tshwane University of Technology on the 17th of March 2015 at Bidvest Stadium. Kickoff is at 6:30pm and 8:30pm.

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SOCCER: Wits FC Women’s side looking to attack this season

The Wits Football Club Women’s side is hoping to win against the University of Johannesburg ahead of tomorrow’s encounter at the Bidvest Wits Stadium.

 

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CLASH OF THE NEIGHBOURS : L-R Wits FC’s Mid-Fielder Linah Maphanga and University of Johannesburg’s striker Molemo Mashigo at the USSA (University Sport South Africa) Gauteng Football League launch, which took place last Tuesday at UJ Soweto Campus.                                                                                Photo: Nqobile Dludla

 

Wits Football Club (FC) Women’s side coach Dennis Tshabalala emphasised the need to play attacking football against University of Johannesburg (UJ) Women’s side when the two sides meet at the Bidvest Wits Stadium on Tuesday night.

Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela, Tshabalala said: “The way we attack will be different tomorrow as it has (sic) been the area which we had to solve and I am confident we will score 1 or 2 goals tomorrow.”

Wits FC will be looking to return to this season’s USSA (University Sport South Africa) Gauteng Football League looking to qualify for the USSA Football Championships.

The team finished in fifth position last year with 11 points while UJ made it into the semi-finals of the USSA Gauteng qualifiers and finished third with 22 points.

Commenting on last season’s performance, Tshabalala said one of the positives was, “that we did not concede a lot of goals which meant defensively we were reasonably okay.” Tshabalala agreed that the team faced challenges with scoring against the top four teams.

Despite UJ finishing the season with more points than Wits FC, Tshabalala is confident that his team is “ready and have worked hard at dealing with any form of threat that they may pose.”

“Mentally we would need to be strong as this would put us ahead of UJ. [In terms of] Physical fitness we will be on par with them and we will compete”, said Tshabalala.

With three players from last season gone, Wits FC women’s side has six new players who according to Tshabalala will be adding more value to the team.

“To bridge the gap, we will work strategically at training to ensure the quick transition of the new players to blend in with the squad. There are six players who have joined us which would change how we attack (sic). We will have a different approach of attack (sic) this year which would ensure scoring more goals”, said Tshabalala.

Ahead of tomorrow’s encounter, Tshabalala said Wits supporters can expect “Great football with goals.”

Wits FC ready for USSA Gauteng Football League

SETTING THE BAR HIGH: In the top four, Wits FC head coach, Karabo Mogudi is certain that his team will qualify for the USSA Gauetng Football League semi-finals.       Photo: Nqobile Dludla

SETTING THE BAR HIGH: In the top four, Wits FC head coach, Karabo Mogudi is certain that his team will qualify for the USSA Gauteng Football League semi-finals. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

Wits FC coach Karabo Mogudi says he is confident enough that his team will remain in the top four of the University Sport South Africa (USSA) Gauteng qualifiers as the season resumed on Tuesday.

The team has three more matches left until the semi-finals, which will see the top four teams battling it out to qualify for the USSA National Championships taking place in December.

“We have a fairly good squad this year. Performance is a little bit better [than the previous year].   We’ve tried and done our best and we think we’ll get there, but the job is not done yet. Our objective is to stay in the top four, qualify for the USSA National Champs and qualify for Varsity football,” said Mogudi.

For Wits FC to qualify for the USSA National Championships they need a minimum of three wins that will put the team through to the semi-finals, whether they draw or lose one game out of the remaining four. Of the four teams battling it out in the semi-finals, only three will be chosen to represent Gauteng at nationals.

“I’m gunning for three wins and one draw. I’m not looking for a loss. We must decide our own destiny. We need to decide and say ‘we are going to be in the top four and we are going to the national champs’,” said Mogudi.

“If we get 17 [points] that means we are definitely in the top four because that means we would have beaten UP (University of Pretoria) and UJ (University of Johannesburg) who are close to us … We are confident that we can do the job in the last two matches,” said Mogudi.

“I’m gunning for three wins and one draw. I’m not looking for a loss”
Last year the team juggled both Varsity Football and the Gauteng League which resulted in constant injuries and lethargy. According to Mogudi, he couldn’t rotate players due to injuries and prolonged recovery because there were “not enough [players] to rotate with”.

Mogudi believes sport administration support, quality players, medical assistance and high performance assistance will have a positive impact on the team’s objectives and the quality of the team that he is grooming.

“We need res, food, medical assistance, bursaries et cetera. Unfortunately we don’t get that much. The budget is limited. So for those living off campus it is a challenge for them to come to practice on weekends.”

According to Mogudi, “with some of the matches the team did not have a physio due to, among other things, the lack of funds. So dealing with a part-time physio means that when they are working on the same day as the match you end up going without them.”

Despite the challenges, Mogudi hopes to encourage the spirit of commitment among his players.

At number four, Wits FC has 11 points along with UP sitting at number three. In second place, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Pretoria also has 11 points and sitting comfortably at number one, the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) Vanderbijlpark has 16 points.

For the upcoming matches, Wits FC will face UP, Midrand Graduate Institute and Medunsa.

 

 

Two Wits FC players chosen for USSA team

Wits Football Club (Wits FC) players, Mahle Mtabane and Brylon Petersen are among the 18 players selected on Wednesday to represent University Sports South Africa (USSA) Football in the upcoming under-21 national championships.

Mtabane and Petersen were two of three players sent by Wits University for selection from among 31 players representing 11 institutions across the country.

Selection for the squad of 18 USSA players happens after intense trials facilitated by the USSA football under-21 camp which took place this week at the University of Pretoria.

USSA football manager, Machesa Kgomo said the players selected stood out for a number of reasons. “They met the range that will represent the organisation well in the tournament based on certain factors such as their condition, commitment, discipline throughout the game and the ability to take us to the finals”, said Kgomo.

The USSA team along with nine provincial teams will participate in the tournament from July 13-20 at North-West University’s Mafikeng campus.

The chamionship known as the SAB League is South Africa’s largest senior grassroots football league facilitated by the South African Football Association (SAFA).