Mkosi: Tuks Defeat Was A Blessing In Disguise
UWC stalwart Thulani Mkosi on the Varsity Football semi-final against Tuks.
UWC stalwart Thulani Mkosi believes his team’s preparation will be the deciding factor in Thursday’s much-anticipated Varsity Football semi-final against Tuks.
It is, of course, a replay of the last league fixture of the season when Tuks beat UWC 2-1 just three days ago at the same venue to earn the right to host this semi-final in Pretoria.
However, despite having been in Gauteng for a week already, the UWC team management and players opted not to return home and instead remained in Gauteng. Mkosi’s believes this decision will pay off come game time.
“We were very disappointed that we did not manage to gain a home semi-final, but it was more about our supporters. They have been spectacular down in Cape Town and we wanted to give something back to them,” Mkosi said.
“But that is done now and we need to look forward. We decided to stay in Pretoria and it has definitely helped that we have stayed together. Besides avoiding the hectic travelling schedule that takes a lot out of you as a player, we have been able to focus just on the football. If we went home, then there would have been classes and studies and lots of other ‘distractions’ but now we have gelled together as a team just playing and talking football.”
It certainly was needed for the Bellville boys, who have earned an unwanted nickname of “bad travellers” over the past couple of seasons due to their poor record away from their famed “Operation Room” home base.
They have slowly begun to shrug off that perception in recent times, most notably with a 5-1 win over the University of Johannesburg last week and Mkosi claims that victory, along with lessons learned in the defeat to Tuks, will be the catalyst for progression to the final.
“Beating UJ away was massive for us. It just gave us the confidence and belief that we could do it away from home. We always knew we had the ability, but we needed to go out there and show it. It certainly came at the right time.
“Also, although we lost to Tuks, we learnt a lot of how to go forward from there. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. We are much better prepared for them now.”