The FNB Varsity Cup is known across South Africa and possibly the world, for its innovations and match-day experiences. One of the latest additions to the FNB Varsity Cup pool of content creating is the Blindside Banter Varsity Cup podcast. Which, for the record had more than three listeners by the time this article was published.
In the first edition of the podcast, Luke Thorrold and Nicholas McGregor chatted to the three Western Cape captains or at least two of them, FNB Ikeys could not spare their captain, Nama Xaba as they were busy with training at the time.
The podcast, which was published earlier in the week, engages with these three captains ahead of the opening round of fixtures. Notwithstanding the seriousness of the first round of matches, Luke and Nick managed to extract some lighthearted comments from their three guests.
FNB UWC's Adrian Paarwater was full of praise for the manner by which head coach Chester Williams handles the team ahead of any match. He recalls what Williams' mood is like ahead of any game.
"Coach Chester is very serious," Paarwater said. "We will be playing music during practice and then he will put it off and tell us we need to get serious with our preparations. For some reason, coach Chester is always in a bad mood ahead of any game."
The loose forward remembers a pre-match warm-up ahead of the 2018 FNB Varsity Shield final (against FNB WSU) where the boys were hyping themselves and high fiving each other between. And then the unthinkable happened, Williams and assistant coach, Jerome Paarwater (Adrian's uncle), had a go at the team and demanded that they get their heads in the game.
"It was a shock to us, coach Chester and Jerome were like, 'Hey, why are you doing? We never do this.' But we were like (to each other) we always do this."
However, when the results are there, then Williams transforms into a different man according to the FNB UWC skipper. This philosophy and strategy has obviously worked for FNB UWC seeing the results were there both on and off the field. Williams and his management team seem to have struck that balance and will be hoping to maintain this for the following few matches. But first, they will have to contend with 2015 FNB Varsity Cup champions, FNB Shimlas, come Monday.
"He loves to party, after the game he is the most humble and cheerful guy you can find."
FNB Shimlas won't be any easier than their opening fixture, but come Monday 11 Feb at the Operation Room, FNB UWC will be gunning for more than just "we played very well despite the score" speech after the match. They will host the men from Bloemfontein in their first home FNB Varsity Cup game. The match will be broadcast live on SuperSport channel 201 and 210. Kick-off at 16:45. And if all goes to plan – Williams and his boys will be cheerful and celebrating.