FNB UKZN Impi coach Jason Oliphant has hailed the return of home fixtures in the 2023 FNB Varsity Shield competition. After falling short in a closely contested semi-final against FNB CPUT in last year’s campaign, the team from KwaZulu-Natal has had solid preparations for the upcoming season.
2022 – Played: 7, Won: 5, Lost: 2 Best FNB Varsity Shield finish – Champions (2015)
Oliphant has urged his side to maintain the high team spirit they have been displaying in their preparations for the new season.
“To be honest, our preparations have been challenging but it’s been good, nonetheless. Getting all players coming together on campus with registrations and contact classes coming back, we have had an opportunity to test ourselves and our problem-solving abilities.”
With the likes of experienced players such as Menzi Mabaso out after receiving an international contract, UKZN will be able to count on standouts like fan-favourite winger Zamo ‘Big Zulu’ Zulu who is more than capable of bringing the title back to KZN.
Oliphant didn’t want to reveal his hand when asked about new and exciting talent in his team, preferring to instead focus on the competitiveness they have displayed in practice sessions so far. He added the return of home games will without doubt provide his team with the extra 16th-man boost.
“It’s been a while since we won (the FNB Varsity Shield), but our team is definitely coming out this season to keep the reputation of our university in high regard.
“Together with all the other teams, we hope that this season will be a great spectacle to grow the sport, to grow the brand and to show appreciation not only to our fans but to the sponsors as well.”
FNB UKZN play their opening game of the 2023 season away against FNB CPUT on the 16 February.
For all the fixtures click HERE.
by Mpendulo Letsoalo