By Alistair Nyamuda
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 4 of VARSITY News.
It has been a good season for the UCT cricket team, with them having won the Western Province First Division with ease and earning themselves a much-deserved promotion to the Premier Division. They finished the season having only lost two games consecutively and drawing one due to bad weather. The UCT cricket team won the league by 20 points, a big margin to win in any league, serving as evidence of the team’s resilience and dominance this season.
Brandon Tattam, Captain of the UCT First team, a regular batsman and occasional bowler, attributes their success to the arrival of their new coach. Upon the departure of Paul Philipson, UCT cricket welcomed Eugene Moleon, an experienced former Lions and Western Province bowler, to the challenge of coaching the UCT first team. The UCT captain only had good things to say, commending his coaching style. “His aura, energy, goals and his coaching style suit the way UCT play cricket. He is a true inspiration to us and has helped mould our team into what it is today. Our performances are a true reflection of his capabilities.”
The UCT team went unbeaten for 12 games, before their two consecutive losses. However, they bounced back quickly, winning their remaining matches. Although the dip in the team’s form was a concern, Tattam sees it as a high point of his season, as the team realized they needed to improve and work harder. Their successful season is a manifestation of this. He shares that “what was quite noticeable with the team was the attitude change. They realized that it was something bigger than just winning, it takes a lot of effort. You must back your abilities to constantly perform. Through good and bad performances, it’s all about being a sportsman and maintaining the right mindset.”
Commitment is a big part of performing well as a team and can be a challenge as players are also juggling school. To encourage the full commitment of the players, the UCT captain says practices are made to be enjoyable, and a way to relieve stress from a hard day at school. “We try to create a good team environment where the time spent practicing is an enjoyable period. I like to do it because it takes my mind off work for an hour and a half to two hours, twice a week.” He goes on to say that it’s also a great time to bond with the team, “it’s also good to spend time with a good bunch of gents that I have become very tight with, to have a good laugh and not worry too much about other things.”
With the season finished, the UCT first team looks forward to the new challenges that they will face in September, with the Varsity Cup drawing nearer, and the start of their Premier League campaign following close behind. The UCT Captain believes in the squad, saying that what lies ahead is a “large challenge”, but a challenge that the team “needs to take on”. With the team’s current form and passion for the game, more success is sure to follow them.