Coach David Maidza’s team defeated UCT in a key fixture last year to avoid ending bottom of the log and he said they would be targeting an improvement in their performances this time.
“This is a fresh start for everyone in the squad and with that we need to build a good team ethos, which will in turn give us good performances on the field,” he said.
Even the task of playing all their matches away from home because the Madibaz Stadium is undergoing an upgrade has not bothered the camp in their planning.
While acknowledging that would test the squad, Maidza said: “Whatever the situation, we all know we are privileged to be representing NMMU in the Varsity Cup.
“We are only focusing on putting in good performances and we have a good team to look after the needs, physically and mentally, of these talented young men.”
The Madibaz open their campaign against UCT in Cape Town on January 30, where a good display would boost their spirits for the season.
“It is always important to have a good start,” said Maidza. “That good start can be a win or a solid performance and that is our simple aim.”
The Madibaz mentor said he was happy with the squad’s preparations.
“We started last year at the beginning of November, followed by a two-week break before resuming on January 3.
“The boys have worked hard during this period and the preparations have been sound.”
Maidza said their approach was to make use of the best talent within the Madibaz ranks.
“With this in mind, I am happy to say that the majority of the squad will be made up of student-athletes who have been involved previously with Madibaz.
The team will be captained by Kevin Kaba and Maidza said there would be co-vice captains in Andile Jho and Wynand Grassman.
He added the squad were approaching the season with plenty of enthusiasm.
“There is, of course, a lot of eagerness among the group to test themselves against the opposition.”