FNB NMMU-Madibaz captain Kevin Kaba believes the right attitude will go a long towards making his team competitive when the FNB Varsity Cup gets under way on Monday.
The 22-year-old loose forward, who was born in Ghana but grew up in Queenstown, will be at the forefront of the Madibaz’s bid to make an impact in the popular tournament.
After a tough season last year, the Port Elizabeth outfit kick off their campaign against UCT in Cape Town, knowing that no teams can be taken lightly.
“We need to pitch up with the right frame of mind to all our games, whether we are facing the ‘bigger’ or ‘smaller’ universities,” said Kaba.
He said they would be looking to improve their performances by not putting themselves under pressure.
“We tend to do that at times, but we need to make sure we go out there with cool heads and try to keep calm when the heat is on.”
Kaba, who will start the season at eighth man, said the team’s strength was their willingness to maintain an attacking approach.
“We are a team who like to run with the ball. Most of the squad have played together before so we have a good understanding of each other.”
Having learnt the game in the icy conditions of winters spent at Queen’s College, Kaba said he was used to the demanding tests rugby could throw at you and was looking forward to his leadership role with the Madibaz.
“It’s an exciting challenge,” said the third-year accounting student. “Dealing with the different personalities in the team and getting to know everyone will help me to grow as a person and leader.”
He was also positive about the team’s prospects.
“I definitely think the squad can make our fans proud this year. We have worked hard and just need to focus on executing our plans out there.”
Due to renovations at the Madibaz Stadium, the NMMU side will play all their games away this season, leaving them without the benefit of home support.
“We have accepted that we will be playing all our games away,” said Kaba. “We’ve tried not to focus on that too much and we have put plans in place to help us deal with all the travelling.”