NWU's 12th Man
NWU-Mafikeng striker, Tshenolo Machwisa, has praised their loyal fans who made the trip to Pretoria for helping them secure a vital 2-2 draw against the defending champions, UP-Tuks.
The North West students were trailing the hosts 2-0 when their fans, who travelled in three busses with the team, burst into song which spurred the team into an immediate action to get their first goal.
"When we went down 2-0, they (the fans) started singing and it gave us the lift we needed to get back into the game. That's why we scored straight from the restart. They gave us the motivation we needed," he said.
The tournament's joint top scorer said the way his team managed to get themselves back into the contest was testament to their fighting spirit and the belief their coach, Amos Xabanisa, has in each player.
"Each player took responsibility for their individual performance which contributed to the team's success. To be able to travel to the defending champions home ground and walk away with a draw after being 2-0 down shows the courage and character this team has," he added.
Machwisa is full of confidence his side will improve on last year's performance in the tournament as they are a different side who are more motivated and hungrier than they were.
Xabanisa has instilled responsibility and ownership into his players who have been working hard on playing a possession style of football which allows them to dictate the pace of the game.
The striker has no doubt the Mafikeng faithful will turn out in their numbers for their next home game when they will host current log leaders UJ.
"We owe it to our fans to give the game everything we have. Their presence and voices is our 12th man on the field. They really get behind us whether we are leading or chasing the game. We owe all our success to them," he said.