The University of Pretoria Football Club endured a tough campaign in the 2014/15 season finishing in 13th place and will be looking to replicate their best-ever performance (8th in 2012/13) in the Absa Premiership this time out. Coach Sammy Troughton will look to finish higher up the table to avoid the uncertainty that the mid-table provides. Troughton’s troops finished just a mere two points ahead of Chippa United and relegated Moroka Swallows (both 30 points).
A quick look at last season’s statistics reveal that the AmaTuks defence was the sixth-best in the league conceding only 32 goals with a goal difference of minus four. As a result Troughton has bolstered his squad with a combination of young and experienced attackers in the pre-season. Tuks were rather frugal in front of goal last season, so it is no surprise that they have secured the services of former Orlando Pirates striker Lennox Bacela and forward Getaneh Kebede on loan from Bidvest Wits.
The frontline duo will join the strike force of exciting youngsters Lucky Mathosi, Botshelo Mfulwane, Thabo Mnyamane and Thabiso Nkoana who has swapped the blue shirt of their city rivals SuperSport United to join the red of the University. Other notable additions set to strengthen the capital club are Kabelo Lichaba and Vukile Mngqibisa (both Polokwane City), Sibusiso Mthethwa (Free State Stars), Willem Mwendihanga (AmaZulu), youngster Sphamandla Dlamini and New Zealander Harry Edge (PEC Zwolle).*
The side has enjoyed decent starts to the season in previous campaigns but consistency in the second half of the season will be its biggest challenge. The Pretoria side are competitive enough to realise their goal of placing inside the top eight and avoid last season’s mid table scrap. AmaTuks kick off their league campaign at Golden Arrows on Sunday.
*Correct as at 5 August 2015