The NMMU Madibaz football team will face a tough test in round two of the Varsity Football tournament when they go up against the University of the Witwatersrand at the Wits Stadium in Johannesburg on Monday night.
The Madibaz will be looking to put their first points on the board after being forced to settle for a goalless draw in this week’s opening encounter with Vaal University of Technology.
Madibaz head coach Graeme Harrison said his team had emerged relatively unscathed and that their preparation had been going well.
“There are one or two slight injuries after the first match so we have to make one change to the team but, other than that, everyone is fit and raring to go.”
Midfielder Kenneth Mothlabi will take an enforced rest and will be replaced by Achuma Klaas.
Harrison said the match against Wits would not be an easy one but that his players were going to Gauteng determined to return with the extra three points on the log.
Wits are somewhat of an unknown quantity in the tournament, which features the top eight footballing universities in South Africa, as they last participated in 2013.
“They are quite a strong side and I think they’re very determined to make an impact this year so we need to be on our toes for that,” said Harrison.
“But I think we’re ready for whatever they throw at us.”
He said the team had looked at their footage from the VUT game and had prepared and planned their strategy in line with the post-match analysis.
“That said, we’re going to go there focusing on our own game and keeping in mind what their strategies, strengths and weakness are.
“One of our main advantages is that we play as a unit. Our game is based on a very strong defence and we build up and attack from there,” he said.
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 will play North-West University and University of the Western Cape at home on August 13 and 31 respectively.
Madibaz: 1 Matthew Booysen, 2 Onela Beqezi, 3 Lonwabo Balfour, 4 Lundi Balfour, 5 Athini Bisha, 6 Litha Fingo, 7 Zusakhe Sali, 8 Karabo Mothlabi, 9 Sachin Jackson, 10 Cloudius Sagandira, 11 Kieran Koert, 12 Xola Fipaza, 13 Onke Matomela, 14 Diego van Rooyen, 15 Achuma Klaas, 16 Fuzo Zantsi, 17 Simamkele Thobi, 18 Lusapho Mlangane