Continuity is key for FNB UFS Shimlas as they are busy wrapping up their preparations for the 2024 FNB Varsity Cup. The Bloemfontein-based team has an experienced squad for 2024 and most of the regulars will be back in action, apart from a handful of lads who went on to graduate or turn professional.
Shimlas will be hoping for a case of third-time lucky under the guidance of coach André Tredoux. This after back-to-back defeats (2022, 2023) at home in the semi-finals.
According to Tredoux there is an upbeat mood in the camp and they have a settled squad.
“We've been honoured to have quite a few of the boys receiving professional contracts, but we've kept great continuity, especially in the tight-five and in the backline. We basically got the whole backline returning, except for Litha Nkula who is too old.”
The addition of Melusi Mthethwa to the coaching staff has also been a major coup for Shimlas. Last season’s head coach of FNB CUT Ixias reunites will take care of the Shimlas attack, something Tredoux is ecstatic about.
“It's exciting times with Melusi coming in as the attacking coach to take our attack to the next level. He has been working really hard on that side of the game.”
On Saturday (3 February) Shimlas will face FNB NWU Eagles, the 2023 Varsity Cup champions, in a warm-up game in Vrede in the eastern Free State. Then there’s a team
building getaway in Clarens where they will do a community outreach clinic with the Clarens Eagles.
Shimlas will face FNB UCT Ikeys on Monday 19 February at Shimla Park in Bloemfontein in the first match of the 2023 Varsity Cup season.
PROVISIONAL SQUAD LIST (subject to change)
Michael Jnr Kurt Annies, Zane Bester, Henty Paul Beukes, Kwezi Dlamini, Nqobani Dlamini, Stiaan Genis, KL Hlengwa, Hlumelo Mihlali Klaas, Lwando Zomthonyama Kolisa, Asanda Kunene, Avuyile Mabece, Liyema Mgwigwi, William John Moffat, Jandre Nel, Gideon Jooste Nel, Nkoka Ngobe, Lathitha Nqebe, Loyiso Peteni, William Conley Pieterse, Pierre Raymond Freddie Uys, Leyton Jawdin Valentyne, Johannes Alwyn Van der Linde, Henri Christian Van Heerden, Ferdinand Pieter Vergottini, Reinier Juan Martin Viljoen, Andreas Visser, Ethan SJ Wentzel, Siviwe Zondani, Frank Dos Reis, Siya Ningiza, Cornelius Hermanus Smit Volschenk, Bradley Giddy, Johnre Stopforth, Bernardu Deleon, Riaan Van der Merwe, Lilitha Billy Lunqe, Diego Lottering, Curwin du Preez, AJ Van Vuuren, Jaco Bezuidenhoudt, Dujean Smith, Katlego Lobakeng, HJ de Beer