#TuksFootball: Tuks vs TUT is the Match of the Day for Round 1 of the 2021 Varsity Football in Pretoria

Posted on September 03, 2021

TuksFootball will kick off their 2021 Varsity Football campaign playing against TUT at Tuks Stadium on Wednesday, 8 September. The clash is famously known as the ‘Tshwane Derby’.

It will definitely be a humdinger as Tuks and TUT tend to write their own script between the white lines. More than often, there is a twist in the tale. Tuks certainly won't lack motivation, as they lost their last five encounters against TUT.

Tuks head coach, Nic Stothard, does not want to dwell on past results. To him, it is a case of what happened, happened. It is the now that matters. A case of one goal at a time. It seems to work. 

Earlier this year, during the SAFA Tshwane Regional League, the Spartak of TuksFootball lost only one of their 18 games. The team scored 37 goals and only conceded nine. 

"Unfortunately, the game we lost is the one I really wanted us to win. It was the final against Newcastle United. We played the better football for most of the game, but they made the most of their opportunities. That is what sport is about. 

"I could not have asked more of the players. Perhaps losing one game before the Varsity Tournament is a good thing. The players now realise the importance of not letting their guard down. 

"We are under no illusions about playing TUT. It is going to be tough. They are a team that never gives up.

"The one thing we have got going for us is that 94% of the players who played in the SAB League are also playing the Varsity Football tournament. When I started to coach Tuks at the start of the season, my goal was to give younger players opportunities to prepare the team for the Varsity Football tournament. 

"In addition, we have five players from AmaTuks that will play for us. They are definitely going to add quality and value to our team.

"We are not going to change our approach much as I am very much a routine driven coach. I think the players prefer that. Last week we duplicated what is going to happen during the Varsity Tournament. We played a 90-minute game every second day. It certainly took its toll on the players, but now they know what to expect."

According to Stothard, his team's strength during the SAB Tournament was their solid defence. 

"I am a firm believer if you don't concede goals that you can't lose. Our AmaTuks players are going to be instrumental in the attack. I believe we will score a lot of goals during the tournament while we continue to keep it tight at the back."

The 2021 Varsity Football tournament is going to be played in a bio-bubble format at Tuks. The first bubble is from 8-15 September. Each team will play four games. The second bubble is from 22-28 September. It includes the semi-finals. The final will be played on 4 October. 

Tuks's first four encounters are against TUT (8 September), Kovsies (10 September), Wits (13 September) and VUT (15 September). Matches LIVE on SuperSport.

- Author Wilhelm De Swardt

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