NWU rise to championship victory
There is something enigmatic about the markings of a coach with the pedigree to deliver championship victories. History is laden with examples to that effect, with Sir Alex Ferguson, Pitso “the chosen one” Mosimane, and the newest entry to the illustrious hall of fame is Karabo “sensei” Masehela.
The North-West University’s (NWU’s) Noble Boys have never won the Varsity Football championship title nor made to the finals – until now.
On 26 September 2019, the much-anticipated encounter between the 2018 Varsity Football champions, the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), and first time final entrants and challengers, the NWU, saw the Noble Boys seal the deal and be crowned the 2019 Varsity Football Champions.
The first half of the game saw the NWU dominate with eight shots on point, with the last attempt at a goal from NWU’s Jersey number 6, Lindani Nkabinde, almost displacing the left vertical goal post.
During the second half, TUT saw a flurry of warnings from the match official which culminated in two red card send-offs for two of their players. This sealed their fate and paved the way in gold for the NWU to rise above the rest with a 1-nil victory – all thanks to the ferocious attack from the NWU’s Lindani Nkabinde.
With game time extended by seven minutes, the NWU parked the bus on TUT and reminiscent of the popular saying “remember when it rained”, the NWU bathed in the rain of the imminent reign.
Their wonderful upset in the 2019 Varsity Football tournament wasn’t anybody’s ploy, it was real football played by the right players, at the right place and time.
Silently on the bench was the NWU’s most successful young coach, hope burning in his eyes, as if his halo of hope could cloak the Noble Boys in glory ahead of their first and most important victory.
Sports writer Bophelo Seleke wrote that the NWU Noble Boys being likened to bridesmaids is a powerful praise for the tournament underdogs.
“Bridesmaids in the game of football have the potential to upset the show and claim the victory for themselves. Their power is in being undermined. TUT thought this would be a walk in the park with their ladies’ team claimed their tournament victory earlier in the day. But the stopping power of the so-called bridesmaids upset the title defenders and rose to the echelons of championship glory.”
According to NWU coach Karabo Masehela, who once played for the same kit he now led to victory as coach, it is an honour to win this with his team.
“I am deeply appreciative of our team’s efforts. This wasn’t for us alone. It was for the purple army. It was for the North-West University. This is a victory that we must all claim ownership to, the NWU and the communities that have supported our bid from the beginning.”
Player of the tournament and man of the match, NWU jersey number 6, Lindani Nkabinde, says it’s all in the preparation and the unwavering support of the purple army.
“From here, I am gunning for a PSL kit or nothing. It is opportunities such as these offered by Varsity Football and sponsors like MTN, Debonairs, and FNB that allow players to hone their talents and be great in what they do.”
Man of the match: NWU jersey number 6, Lindani Nkabinde
Player of the Tournament: NWU jersey number 6, Lindani Nkabinde
MTN Moment of Brilliance: NWU jersey number 9, Adam Flynn
Debonairs ReaL Deal Save: TUT jersey number 20, Sikhumbuzo Ncube
Meet the 2019 Varsity Football tournament winners – the NWU!