With the Varsity Football Tournament commencing next week, reigning champions University of the Western Cape (FNB UWC) have pulled out all stops to defend the title and keep it in the Cape.Udubs, the only university in the Western Cape to have qualified for the competition, will open their title defence with a mouth-watering clash at home against former champions UP-Tuks from the University of Pretoria on Monday 18 July. The game will be held at UWC Sports Stadium and kick-off is at 18h30.On the back of claiming their famous 2-1 victory over TUT from Tshwane University of Technology in the final last year, Udubs is fired up to reclaim the trophy.With some players having graduated from the University and a new rule being introduced, some new players have been introduced into the squad this year, making it a balanced mix of old and new faces.UWC coach Salie Adams comments: “this year we have assembled a nice and competitive squad that consists of a lot of first year students which is good for us in the long run”.The advantage of these changes, according to Adams, is that it will make Udubs a surprise package in the tournament. Among the new additions to the team is experienced player Suhayl Allie, a midfielder who has been playing for two years as a professional footballer in the National First Division for Santos, while last year’s Varsity Football Player of the Tournament, Thulani Mkosi, is among the old faces.“It’s more about the element of surprise, no game plan,” Adams explains. “The element of surprise that I am talking about is that other universities do not know a lot about our first-year students. They might know about the older guys who played in last year’s competition and might be planning around that”While changes to a team can sometimes cause obstacles, Adams believes that successful teams are all about being together and understanding one another and making sure that players are comfortable in the environment they are in. “Then they will be able to express themselves properly and they will be able to showcase their abilities that they have in a very relaxed atmosphere”.Adams called on football supporters in the Cape, particular UWC students, staff, alumni and friends to come in their big numbers to watch the new breed of UWC football players.