Cape Town - University of Johannesburg
coach Werner Janse van Rensburg is eyeing a fresh start when his team kick off
their Varsity Cup campaign with a home game against Maties on
Monday, January 29.
The teams last met in last
year’s semi-finals, which Maties won. It was the second year
in row that UJ lost in the last four.
While there were lessons to be
learned from those disappointments, Janse van Rensburg said on Friday each year’s competition started as something new because of
this competition you will never have the continuity that comes with a settled
squad of 30 to 35 players with whom you can work over a period of years,” he said.
complete their degrees or drop out academically, and some are signed up by
provinces due to their progress.
there are a lot of variables to deal with. Your squad changes significantly
However, the UJ mentor added
that they had achieved some sort of balance between experience and youth. Their
squad may include nine players who have featured in two or more Varsity Cup
probably have about 13 to 15 first-year students on our books. This is their
chance to make a name for themselves,” said Janse van
find some guys fit in nicely from the start, but others adapt more slowly, so
it really is a fresh start each year.
is something we have become accustomed to. And everyone’s
in the same boat. It’s a matter of taking on the
Referring to the early start
to the competition, he said their planning was going as well as could be
won’t get it to be perfect at this stage of the year, but
we are doing the best we can with the time at our disposal.
had a training camp from January 5-7 and then had a match of three 20 to
25-minute periods against Wits on Monday.
we play Shimlas (Free State University) in Kroonstad in a match of three
Having seen his side fall at
the semi-final stage twice, Janse van Rensburg said success was all about taking
“That’s the way you have to play to get into finals. We’ve learned harsh lessons in the last two years.
played well to get into the semis, but on the day we could not quite pull it
Looking ahead to the new
season, Janse van Rensburg said UJ were prepared to absorb whatever came their
learn something all the time in this competition because you play in so many
“We’ll take it game by game, with our focus now on the
He described the Stellenbosch
side as one of the best in the competition; chosen from the biggest player
can expect to see a classic Maties team of big forwards and strong backs, and
they will run from everywhere.
we have our own standards and I firmly believe we will be competitive again.
This is a competition that has always been open; any team can win on any given