Just before UP-Tuks took on Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in the Varsity Football semi-final, Perdeby sat down with captain Robin Swartz to chat about how the team felt about the upcoming match.
AmaTuks made it into the Varsity Football semi-finals after what many have described as a slow start to their campaign. Do you feel the team is starting to peak at the right time?
Yes we are. We agree as we also felt that we weren’t firing on all cylinders in the early stages and it cost us some points in the first few games. Of late we have improved in our performances, which we are really proud of as it’s something we have worked hard at. We are peaking but still have a lot to improve on. It’s our hope that we continue improving, as we will need to be at our best if we want to achieve our mandate.
How do you feel about your performance in this year’s tournament, being one of the most consistent starters in the squad so far?
I’m happy to have been given the opportunity to play all [of] these games, as last year I missed out on a large part of the season due to injury. Personally, I feel good about my performances and all I can hope is that I can contribute to the team’s overall success. The coaches and my teammates are happy with my contribution and that, for me, is the most important thing.
How have you found leading the UP-Tuks team for this campaign?
It’s been a great honour and a privilege that I hold really close to my heart. We have a diverse group of players from different backgrounds, but thankfully they are all great characters willing to learn from each other and that has led to a great team spirit. I can say that my leadership responsibilities have been shared by the entire squad, as we all want to represent the institution well and we are united in that.
You are facing TUT in the semi-final. How do you feel going into the match?
[UP] and TUT have had a longstanding rivalry in tertiary football. It is definitely going to be a huge game. More than just their natural talent and quality of their squad, we know they will be really determined to beat us, as in recent times we have had the better of them. This is a true test for us to see if we deserve to defend our title, and I believe we have what it takes to do so, but we need to be at our best.
What would it mean to the team to secure the Varsity Football title for a third consecutive time?
It would be, for some of us, the highlight of our football career. We realise that it would leave a legacy in TuksSport and not just [with] football, and it’s a legacy [that] we want to be associated with. It would also be a great way for us to thank our supporters and the management of the university for always believing in us and providing [us with] the opportunity to play while receiving a great education, and that is priceless.