OP soccer team are Spring Day soccer league champions

Posted on September 19, 2016

Speaking on behalf of the Onderstepoort (OP) Faculty of Veterinary Science soccer team, David Komane, co-founder of the team with Jerry Letsoalo, says: 'We wanted to make the Faculty proud and give something back for the support and the positive response we have received from the Dean and the Departments when we founded this team in 2015.' The team made the Faculty proud by winning the soccer league at the annual University of Pretoria (UP) Spring Day celebration.

Maybe it was a sign of things to come when, in the week before Spring Day, the team played two friendly games against teams from the South African Reserve Bank and the Government Communication and Information Service and convincingly won both with final scores of 4–2 and 9–3 respectively.

These victories inspired them to do even better. According to Komane, they knew that no OP staff soccer team had won a trophy before, so the aim was to go and win something for the Faculty. They also realised it was a do-or-die situation in the knock-out stages of the Spring Day competition because if they lost one game they would be immediately disqualified. Before reaching the final they not only beat teams from the departments of Engineering, Food Services, and Finance, but in the process were also victorious against Shaun Bartlett's Tuks Sport team whom they beat 2–0.

The final against UP Proefplaas was a nail-biting affair that kept the supporters on the edge of their seats. The teams eventually played to a draw, necessitating a penalty shootout. The OP soccer team claimed the trophy by winning the shootout 2–1. It was a proud and special moment when Prof Cheryl de la Rey, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UP, handed them the trophy.

Back on the Onderstepoort Campus, a victory parade was organised, followed by a short ceremony during which the trophy was handed to the Deputy Dean of Teaching and Learning, Prof Dietmar Holm, acting on behalf of the Dean, Prof Darrell Abernethy, who was away on official business. This win bodes well for the future of the OP soccer team. A confident Komane predicts: 'We will do all we can to keep this trophy as long as possible.' 


- Author Chris van Blerk

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