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Varsity Football

TUT Favourites Amongst Coaches

Four coaches, whose teams did not make the Varsity Football final, gave their predictions as to who are more likely to take the title this year.

Despite varied opinions on the overall winner will be, one thing is certain, there will be a new Varsity Football champion crowned on September 22 when TUT take on UJ at TUT Stadium, Tshwane.

Both sides have already featured in Varsity Football finals, but neither of them have tasted success.

TUT seem to be the popular choice amongst the four brave coaches. The side boasts an unbeaten run this season and have a star-studded line-up any coach will be more than happy to have.

Two-time champions UP-TUKS head coach Tslisane Motuang has backed his neighbours TUT to win the final on Thursday evening. 

"This one is very easy to predict, TUT will take this. It is not going to be a walk in the park given that on the day UJ can produce an upset. But all the facts show me that TUT will win the final.

"TUT have had a great season this far, they have been unbeaten while UJ have been inconsistent as their head to the final. Home ground advantage is also in favour of TUT and will just add pressure to UJ," Motuang said.

The Tuks coach stated that the TUT's individual performance in the team will also prove too strong for a struggling UJ side.

"TUT's goal scoring ammunition are just too much. They have the top goal scorer Jacob Serame Hlalele and Refilwe Elliot Seema is a strong player. They have two amazing goal keepers which is always a bonus for a team. UJ do have some great players but TUT's consistency will be enough to give them a victory,"

CUT head coach Rakometsi Mosai also echoed Motuang, stating that TUT will be the champions.

"TUT will win on Thursday, they have the upper hand and are more focused - since the start of the tournament," Mosai said.

The coach believes UJ play much more structured football while TUT is more free flowing and has more power in attack.

"UJ play a very structured game compare to the opposition. TUT is more versatile and have the ability to launch an attack from different roots of the field. They have good players and that is what makes them such a strong side.

"UJ play nice football but can run into trouble in the middle of the match. Both teams are amazing - making a final is already difficult task, but I just think from what I observed throughout the season TUT are in a much better position to take the title," he added.

On the contrary newcomers UFH head coach Charles Hanyani believes that UJ can produce an upset.

The coach based his prediction on UJ’s tactical prowess and their ability to convert their chances into much-needed points.

"UJ pose more of a technical treat, than their counterparts. The Joburg side's tactics are simple yet accurate enough to produce amazing results.

"TUT have had an unbeaten run leading up to the final, but their focus is too much on just winning and that mentality results in them wasting a lot of their goal scoring opportunities throughout the season. UJ showed that they can score a lot of goals and that will be their focus this Thursday,"

Hanyani also stated that it is going to be a tough encounter giving that both teams have experience when it comes to playing in the final of the Varsity Football Tournament.

"TUT and UJ have experience finals and both failed to win and that is going to result in some entertaining football.

"UJ should be wary of UJ because they do have the ability to steal it from them based on experience. I think the TUT side realise now what went wrong in the past and have learned from previous mistakes and that could be dangerous for UJ," he added.

"UJ’s attack is great but they really have a well-organised defence. The goalkeeper Mpumelelo Motsoahole is brilliant and has really proved himself over the last few weeks. While their captain Matthew Edwards has just been the heart of that side.

"TUT's captain Refilwe Elliot Seema is also dangerous. He is really influential and he has a very commanding presence. If he manages to perform on the day it could be lethal for UJ," he added.

Wits head coach Karabo Mogudi believes every football supporter understands how difficult it is to predict a clear-cut winner, especially when it comes to a final.

"As a person with a football knowledge, I cannot predict who will walk away as champions. TUT started the tournament really well recording great victories against quality sides, while UJ struggled to gain momentum throughout the season but managed to sneak into the finals. But all that is history and we all know it is not how you start but how you end.

"UJ have played finals and will be eager to take it this year, but TUT also have home crowd advantage and will want to give their fans something to celebrate - it is really going to be an extremely tight match,"

Mogudi believes the two teams will rely on different things for Thursday night's encounter.

"TUT have some great centre backs - they have just kept out everything and have given the side a solid foundation at the back. They have loads of stars who can produce match-winning performance. Jacob Serame Hlalele would also be the spark in the TUT attack.

"On the other hand UJ does not have loads of stars but they have an amazing team spirit and connection. There are some players who can cause TUT problems - Tshepo Derrick Tolo, who is very skilful while Sbongeleni Gamede is very physical and can strike the ball really well," he added.




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