UP-Tuks will chase a third straight Varsity Football title in 2015
Wednesday Jul 15, 2015. 10:19
The third season of Varsity Football launched in Johannesburg on Tuesday, with the top eight university sides in South Africa set to battle it out over the next 10 weeks.
UP-Tuks (university of Pretoria), who have won two titles on the bounce, will have a chance to defend their crowm when the tournament kicks off on 20 July.
The tournament will feature three new teams – WSU (Walter Sisulu University), VUT (Vaal University of Technology) and NWU-Pukke (North West University - Potchefstroom) – while Wits and TUT make a return after missing out last season, joining stalwarts UP-Tuks, NMMU and UWC in the battle for the R97 000 prize.
Each university will play at least three home games, with 17 of the total 31 matches broadcast live on SuperSport 204 and 210, every Monday at 5pm and Thursday at 6:30pm, with the finals taking centre stage on 24 September.
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.”
Current University of Pretoria striker Thabo Mnyamane, the star of the 2013 tournament, rewarded Mashaba’s faith by scoring on debut in Bafana Bafana’s 3-1 win against Swaziland in an international friendly earlier this year.
Duitser Bosman, CEO of Varsity Sports, says, “This is exactly the kind of progress we are looking for in terms of sustainable partnerships for Varsity Sports. We want our players to get exposure and get noticed by the coaches at the top. It has worked fantastically well with Varsity Cup and we are starting to see the same effects for our other sports.
“Football is the biggest sport in the world, and the business of football is booming on the African continent. Competitive sport at university level is the first step for many future stars towards making their dreams of gracing the elite leagues across the world a reality.”