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When reflecting on UP’s VarsityFootball campaign, a moment that will be cherished by the team is their record-breaking score of 9-1 against the University of Fort Hare. Perdeby spoke to Sego Mokgothu to get his experience of playing in this game as his first Varsity Cup game.
How would you describe the experience of being involved in the record-breaking game against Fort Hare?
It was the best night of anything that I have experienced playing football. It was a must win for us as we could not drop any points at all. Being part of the 9-1 and being part of the squad was brilliant and the most wonderful thing was when I went into the team and scored on debut. It was overwhelming and is the highlight of my path in football so far.
How does it feel to have contributed a goal to the record-breaking game, specifically?
I felt honoured to have been given the opportunity by my coach. As for the goal, it was one of the most amazing nights that I was blessed to have experienced as it included my debut, my first goal, getting to do all that on home soil, and setting the record for UP. I felt and still feel special to be part of the squad which set such a massive record, and I believe the squad showed great professionalism and sportsmanship on the night.
What do you attribute the record-breaking win to?
The credit must go to my hardworking coaches, teammates [and] the supporters that rallied behind us that night. I attribute the win to the whole team, from the technical staff to the players. The supporters also deserve a special mention. I attribute it to all other parties which believed in us and motivated us before the game, which was very crucial as we had to collect all three points.
What were some of the challenges you faced leading up to your debut for the Varsity Cup team?
Training with the team was not that difficult for me. The only thing that was challenging was that I was unable to adapt quickly, and even still now I am adapting to the way that they train and the way they do things.
How have you adapted to the pressure of training with and performing for UP?
It was quite demanding, and is still demanding now in terms of your time and the effort that you need to put into training. Right now everything is running smoothly as I am getting used to the team and the way they do things.
How has playing for UP developed you as a player?
Since I have joined the team, the major things I have learnt is leadership and responsibility. The head coach instils the leadership concept in every training session and believes in creating not only footballers, but the leaders of tomorrow. Therefore, honestly I am on that path of also being a responsible leader on and off the pitch. As a player I have developed stronger mentally and matured, especially in terms of my decision making skills that affect my personal life and as a footballer for UP.