The Madibaz football team kicked off their Varsity Football campaign with a well-executed goalless draw against Vaal University of Technology at the Isak Steyl Stadium in Vanderbijlpark on the 20th of July, great things were expected after the first round, however the Port Elizabeth based side still has not impressed.
At the end of last season, South Africa’s national coach, Shakes Mashaba, credited Varsity Football with offering up-and-coming players a platform, saying, “I want to congratulate the organisers for a job well done. I will call some of the players to come and rub shoulders with the Bafana Bafana coach and the players. This talent needs to be nurtured.”
The NMMU team has played in every season of Varsity Football, having contested the first final, but it has been a tough start for them this year, with just a single point to show for their efforts over a possible 9 points over 3 rounds.
Madibaz coach Mark Harrison said the Madibaz were determined to secure a top-four overall finish in the tournament, after failing to reach the play-offs last year.
“What makes our task more daunting is playing five away games.”
“When we do come back to our fans hopefully the crowds will be out in their numbers to support us.”
The Madibaz are languishing at the bottom having played all 3 of their games away from home, and will hit the road again as they continue to search for their first goal of the season.
Vuyolwethu Faltein a supporter of Madibaz says that things have to improve. The coach should rotate the team more and give all players a chance to play. With just four matches left, one more loss would mean we don’t qualify for the play-offs again, and that is not acceptable.
The Madibaz will play North-West University and University of the Western Cape at home on August 13 and 31 respectively.
The other side from the Eastern Cape, WSU, lie in 7th position with 3 points having won 1 match and lost 2. They next face a tough challenge, the defending champions the UP- Tuks who lie in 4th position with 4 points, having won 1, drawn 1 and lost 1.
The teams from the Eastern Cape have all to do in the last four matches of the tournament. Teams at the top of the standings will be looking to extend their lead and teams at the bottom half will be looking to improve their performances and qualify for the play offs.