Wits See Silver Lining
Wits may have fallen agonizingly short of making the Varsity Football final but there will be plenty of positives for them to take from this campaign.
The Johannesburg students have shown massive growth in the past two years, after a disastrous 2013 campaign which saw them failing to win a match, scoring just one goal and conceding a whopping 17.
They missed out on qualifying for the 2014 event before returning to the tournament with a bang. They claimed four wins, including a remarkable run of away victories over defending champions UP-Tuks and newcomers VUT. They boasted one of the best defensive records which saw them concede just six goals in their seven round-robin matches, while they found the back of the net on seven occasions.
"We are extremely proud of what the boys have achieved this year. We can look back at this campaign and be proud of finishing in the Top Four and playing in the semi-finals. Compared to what happened in 2013, there are plenty of positives to take from this tournament and we now focus on becoming a regular inclusion.
"The plan is to ensure we qualify every year so that the boys can gain more experience in tournament football. It will certainly allow them to grow faster in the game and help improve their skills," Wits coach Karabo Mogudi said.
Wits had to endure a tough trip to the Cape to face log leaders UWC for a place in the final and saw their dreams dashed by the lottery of penalty shoot-outs after the match ended in a goalless draw.
"Penalties are always a lottery and you need to have some element of luck as well. It certainly went the way of UWC and their final kick summed it up perfectly. Our keeper made the save but the ball rebounded off the upright, hit him on the back of his head and rolled in.
"We are certainly disappointed with the result but remain extremely proud of the performance we put in. It was quite evident that we really wanted it and I can certainly not fault any of the players for their performance," he added.
Mogudi believes the final can go either way as there are strong cases for UWC and TUT to claim the honours.