University of Johannesburg women’s coach Jabulile Baloyi has called on her team to show a ruthless approach on attack to boost their chances of success at the Varsity Football tournament this week.

The annual event will be held in Potchefstroom from Thursday to Sunday, with UJ opening their programme against University of Western Cape.

This is the team who beat them on penalties in last year’s semifinals and Baloyi said they would need to keep that in mind on Thursday.

“Given what happened the last time we met we need to make sure we are accurate on attack and bury the chances we create,” she said.

“If we are able to do that it will make things much easier for us as the competition progresses.”

Baloyi added that they had good continuity in the squad from last year’s outfit, with only Refiloe Maseko and Karabo Makhurubeshi new to the team.

She was confident they would add value to the squad, having had international experience at U17 and U20 levels.

“While we have much the same squad as last year we don’t want to rely only on the senior players.

UJ - Thato Letsoso

Thato Letsoso will be a key player for University of Johannesburg when the Varsity Football women’s tournament gets under way in Potchefstroom on Thursday. Photo: Barco Greeff

“Our culture is that we are playing a team sport so everyone has an important role to play in the team. We work as a collective, based on the premise that ‘together everyone achieves more’.”

The coach felt their opening matches in the tournament would be key to how they fared in the long run.

“If we can do well at the start it will be a boost for the team, improving the unity in the squad and keeping the players motivated.”

The eight teams are divided into two pools of four and UJ are grouped with UWC, University of KwaZulu-Natal and University of Zululand. The top two teams from each pool will qualify for the semifinals.

Besides themselves, Baloyi felt that Tshwane University of Technology and UWC would be the teams to watch.

After winning the University Sport South Africa tournament and ending third in Varsity Football last year, she added that there had been something of a hiatus while they waited for the national league to start.

“But we did plenty of training and played against a number of sides in that time.

“Since the start of the national league the team has been working hard, using the matches to get into our best shape.

“We haven’t had the best start, but we are aiming to improve all the time as Varsity Football approaches.”