Following an exciting first week on and off the pitch, Varsity Football Season III is turning out to be one of the best yet.
Last Monday, the tournament got a resounding stamp of approval from former Bafana Bafana defender Matthew Booth, who attended his first live game, at Wits Stadium in Johannesburg, between Wits and UWC. In fact, the South African football fraternity at large has showered Varsity Football with praise, with prominent local figures giving the concept an approving thumbs-up.
The competition provides great exposure for up-and-coming footballers, giving young talented players an excellent opportunity to make their mark in front of a bigger audience. The games are attended in huge numbers and are also broadcast on TV.
South African football coach of the year, Gavin Hunt, who has won three Premier Soccer League titles, was impressed by the level of football he watched earlier this week and is looking to sign a young player from the tournament. “You could see that it was the first game and the players were a bit nervous, but the nerves will settle down as they get involved in more matches,” he said.
Hunt, who described the tournament as “a great platform for young players to showcase their talent”, suggested he’d like to try out a promising youngster from the Wits team. “I’ve discovered a couple of young players in the past and we have to give those who’re willing to grab the opportunity with both hands a chance to fulfil their dreams,’ he said.
Duitser Bosman, CEO of Varsity Sports, says, “This is exactly what we aim to achieve with the tournament. We want players to get exposure and get noticed by the coaches at the top. It has worked fantastically well with Varsity Cup and we’re starting to see the same effects for our other sports.
“Football is the biggest sport in the world, and the business of football is booming on the African continent. Competitive sport at university level is the first step for many future stars towards making their dreams of gracing the elite leagues across the world a reality.”
Former PSL player of the season, Sibusiso Vilakazi, says, “Varsity Football is very important, and you never know who is watching. I’m fully behind this concept and wish the footballers everything of the best. I never thought that I could one day win the biggest award of my career. This competition could be the break that some of the players have been waiting for. My advice to them is to give it their all and to enjoy themselves.”
Varsity Football has grown in popularity since its inception, particularly at Walter Sisulu University this week where the home team went to the top of the Varsity Football standings with a gutsy 3-2 victory over NWU-Pukke in Mthatha on Monday. As the Varsity Football tournament continues, many will be glued to their TVs to watch what it will offer in the new few weeks.