“Never has the University of Pretoria Football Club (AmaTuks) played such a big match against probably the most popular football club in South Africa, Kaizer Chiefs. Right from the word go starting with team announcements and the interviews with the head coaches of both teams, the AmaTuks were treated as real underdogs. The match announcer ran through our team list very quickly, and with the other team, he would announce a player’s name and pause to allow applause before reading the next “big” name,” said the General Manager of the team, Rendani Mulaudzi.
Speaking on behalf of the University’s Executive Management, Principal – Professor Calie Pistorius – praised the team for raising the flag of the institution high with their performance.
“AmaTuks showed the guts and determination to win. The players never allowed their well-established opponents to intimidate them. On behalf of the University’s community, the executive management would like to congratulate the players and technical staff of the team for a spirited performance that AmaTuks displayed on Saturday evening. We wish them well in their encounter against Bloemfontein Celtic - their next opponent in the quarter-finals. We believe that AmaTuks would display the same gusto that they did against Kaizer Chiefs,” he said.
According to Mulaudzi, last Saturday evening was a day on which nothing would detract the AmaTuks from claiming their place in history. Though one man down, the AmaTuks continued to attack and it did not come as a surprise to the team when they came out tops. Their player - Mthokozisi Yende - received the “Man of Match” award.
AmaTuks players and supporters also thanked the students, staff, and other members of the public who supported the team during its toughest encounter against Kaizer Chiefs.
The team’s coach, Steve Barker said that he is not going to put pressure on his players. He believes they should focus on one game at a time.
“I am obviously very proud of the players for showing the courage and willingness to succeed and to beat a team with the stature and history of Kaizer Chiefs. This result has been great for the club but it is important that the team remains focused on the main objective which is winning promotion to the Premier Soccer League starting with a tough next league fixture away to Dynamos. I would like the players to show the same attitude in the next cup match without feeling undue pressure to win as they should just continue to express themselves in the same manner that they have done so far. he said.
Note to the media: Should you want to conduct interviews with selected players or coach, please contact Kenneth Neluvhalani or Steve Barker at the following numbers (012) 420-6086 and (012) 420-6003 respectively.