NFD Player Carries UWC's Hopes
Tapelo Sixishe carries the hopes of UWC on his shoulders as the 20-year-old recently signed his first professional contract with National First Division side FC Cape Town.
Sixishe always dreamed of playing professionally but never expected it to happen the time it did. He played in a friendly match against the NFD side and it was performance in that game that caught the eye of the club who subsequently handed him a one-year deal.
The man who hails from Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape has struck twice for UWC in the Varsity Football tournament thus far and knows all the pressure is on him to inspire the team to carry on in their winning ways.
"There is a lot of pressure on me to perform well in each game, both from the players and the fans. I guess it's normal considering that I'm now a professional footballer but I won't let it affect me," he said.
Sixishe has UWC coach Boebie Williams, a former national under 17 and under 20 coach, to turn to when he needs advice to help deal with the pressure of balancing his Varsity Football commitments, academics and his professional career.
"Boebie is a great coach. We often speak on a one-on-one bases and he is there to help me cope with all the pressure," he added.
The soft spoken student has found it tough trying to balance the demands of being a professional player and a full-time student but has expressed his gratitude towards FC Cape Town who have encouraged him to continue his studies.
"It's very challenging for me because we having training twice a day at FC Cape Town. Luckily, the club encourages me to continue my studies and have allowed me to attend classes in the morning and join up with the team for training in the afternoon," he said.
The number 10 will be hoping to make the cut when FC Cape Town begin their NFD campaign against fellow Cape side Santos.