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The Durban University of Technology (DUT) Ladies Soccer team will feature for the first time in South Africa’s biggest university football tournament, the Varsity Football 2021. The highly anticipated tournament will be held in a secure bio-bubble at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) from 29 September 2021 to 04 October 2021.   

The DUT ladies football squad, which is part of the DUT Sport Administration Department, will be among eight teams who will be competing in this tournament. DUT will join the University of Western Cape (UWC), WITS, TUT, University of Limpopo (UL), University of Pretoria (UP-Tuks), University of Johannesburg (UJ) and North-West University (NWU-Potchefstroom). All of the games will broadcast live on SuperSport (DStv channel 211).         

Speaking briefly about the team, DUT Sports Officer, Nondyebo Mgudu said the squad comprises of 100% bona fide students who were ecstatic about qualifying for the Varsity Football 2021 competition and that they are looking forward to flying the DUT flag in Tshwane. The team will not only be representing DUT but KwaZulu-Natal, as the only KZN team to qualify for the tournament.    

“Domestically the team plays in the South African Football Association (SAFA) Sasol League, with the intention of maintaining the status as it is our first season in the Sasol League. We had previously competed in the ABSA League. The DUT Ladies Team qualified for Varsity Football through the University Sports South Africa (USSA) Games, which is an annual tournament held in December. The previous competition was held at the University of Johannesburg,” said Mgudu.   

Qualifying for the first time, Mgudu said the mood was pure joy from the technical team, management and the players themselves. She said everyone understood the magnitude of what had happened, especially the players, considering the efforts it took prior to preparations.    

“It is an honour and privilege to be amongst the top eight women football universities in South Africa. Since this is our first participation in this competition, we would not have unrealistic expectations from our players and technical team. However, given the amount of talent and commitment from our players, as well as the planning and execution that is being implemented by our technical team, we expect to travel with a squad that will represent DUT with excellence and success,” Mgudu added.   

Unity, discipline and hard work are important ingredients at the DUT Women’s Football Club. The experience of players like Fiona Ndlovu, who has previously been selected to the South Africa women’s national team (Banyana Banyana) will add a much-needed value to the tournament.   

Mgudu urged the DUT community to offer emotional support to the team regardless of their results and to consider the impact of social media, which can make or break the players’ concentration levels during the tournament.   

Pictured: DUT Women’s Football team are gearing up to compete in the Varsity Football competition. (Picture taken pre-COVID).  

Simangele Zuma

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