University of Pretoria Football Club
Nickname: AmaTuks, Tuks, Tukkies
Home Ground: Tuks ABSA Stadium, Hatfield; Gauteng (12, 000)
Coach: Sammy Troughton
2014/15 League Finish: 13th
Star Players To Watch: Vukile Mngqibisa, Vuyisile Ntombayithethi, Thabo Mnyamane, Lennox Bacela
Young Guns To Watch: Junior Sibande, Harry Edge, Siphelele Luthuli, Botshelo Mfulwane
The Grand Stand View
The University of Pretoria came into the elite division as a breath of fresh air, they were a young side that played great attacking football and gave far more illustrious and expensively assembled sides a run for their money; the growth of the team seems to have stalled as their ambitions are more ambiguous and their professionalism has been called into question after the departure of key staff members led to even more instability within the organisation. Tuks are now prone to playing more experienced layers in their starting unit in an attempt to ensure their premier league status and keep themselves at the level they fought for seasons to get to; yet methinks that the mediocre nature of the team’ s performances over the last couple of seasons has to lead to them returning to their core ideals and ensuring that they are competing at the elite level with their own academy graduates and truly profiting of the investment they have made into their youth development structures.
The current gaffer, Sammy Troughton, is an experienced minder with a keen sense of the talent within the club structures and he will have to call upon all his years of experience this season if his side are to fulfil their potential and avoid the mediocrity of the recent past. The greatness of Tuks lies within their unpredictability when they are playing their young talents, as teams are less prepared for what they will be coming up against, a return to that thinking will put the club in far better stead moving forward as they will actually afford themselves an opportunity to grow with each season that the nucleus of their young squad plays together. The addition of experienced players helped shore up the defence last season, yet the lack of forward output could be remedied with the promotion of some younger attacking talents up the pecking order as the club seeks to strike a great balance within the first team unit. We cannot count Tuks out when looking at the top 8 contenders for this season, yet much of their success will boil down to how the players are utilised during the campaign as there are a handful of talented young players within their setup that could help elevate the standing of the club if allowed to play and further their development.