FNB UWC are ready for a triumphant return to the 2024 FNB Varsity Cup following a dominant display in last year’s FNB Varsity Shield competition that saw them lift the trophy.
Assistant coach Lionel Langenhoven gives some insight into the team's preparations and aspirations.
"Returning to the Varsity Cup competition was in itself a big achievement for us all. We know that it is a different ball game and that our approach on and off the field needs to improve. The way we are going to play will have some adjustments because the standard and the level of quality opposition will demand a huge challenge."
In terms of recruitment, Langenhoven says their efforts have been focused on filling the gap left by departing players. Coaching UWC holds a special place for Langenhoven, who has been involved with the team for close to a decade. According to him, the impact coaches can have on students' lives, makes the experience truly rewarding.
"The investment in some very talented youngsters bodes well for the future. Being involved for close to 10 years at this iconic university speaks volumes. I have been through so many special moments that change the community of UWC and surrounding areas."
As they aim for success in the highly competitive Varsity Cup, Langenhoven acknowledges the unpredictability of the competition.
"Winning the Varsity Cup competition I am sure is every team's goal. It is going to take 1000% commitment and endurance to reach that goal. So our aim firstly will be to play and perform to the best of our abilities and make sure we stay in the competition.
"Among the backs, we have guys like Conwill Conradie and captain Tasriq Mynhardt while among the forwards, there are players like Romauld Ntumba and Carel vd Merwe."
With determination, a mix of experienced and new talent, and a passionate coaching staff, UWC is set to make their mark in this year’s Varsity Cup. They are starting their campaign on Monday 19 February against FNB Wits at the UWC Sports Stadium.
PROVISIONAL SQUAD LIST (subject to change)
Tasriq Mynhardt, Slade Jacobs, Will Vraagom, Hlomla Ncana, Jean Van Schalkwyk, Bevan Simons, Zhaun Brynard, Emile Silvis, Bryan Breda, Denver van Wyk, Elkan Willemse, Nhamulo Shilubane, Aaron Swartz, Conwill Conradie, Wian van der Sandt, Ridge Gaffley, Romauld Nsombamanya, Zinzan Magerman, Tyrone Maritz, Mandongana, Almore Kuilders, Michael Makoni, Louan Dde Lange, Carel Van Der Merwe, Michail Kasfikis, Brent Afrika, Lelethu Layita, Franco Ceasar, Keanuh Micheals, Shaquile Adams, James Coetzee, Joshua Eras, Ruben Swanepoel, Hlonela Qelile, Haniel du Toit, Liam Payne
by Lyndon Julius