Loosehead prop Roy Godfrey has been named as FNB NMMU Madibaz captain for the Varsity Cup ahead of Tuesday’s important warm-up game against the Free State Cheetahs.
Godfrey will skipper the NMMU side for a second year running – his third in the national competition.
New head coach David Maidza made the announcement at a training session in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
Maidza said the 24-year-old – who captained the SWD Eagles in several Currie Cup matches last season – was “a natural leader” and the obvious choice.
“Roy does not need any motivation to play for the team and, because he did such a brilliant job of leading the side last year, I felt that it was only sensible for him to carry on with the job.”
He described Godfrey as an astute player who thought about the game and worked hard for his team.
“He leads by example and the players respect him.”
Godfrey’s first order of business was to attend the official Varsity Cup launch for captains, coaches and executive members in Stellenbosch on Monday.
He said he was very excited to work with Maidza, who has held coaching positions with the Border Bulldogs, Free State Cheetahs and Eastern Province Kings.
“He’s coached some very good teams, so I’m going to be learning from one of the best in the business.”
Godfrey said the job of captaining was so much easier when there was good synergy between the skipper and coach.
The second-year business management student elected to return to his Eastern Cape roots in 2012, after playing junior rugby for the Sharks’ U19 and U21 teams.
Godfrey said he had learned a lot from his previous outings in the Varsity Cup, which he would share with his players.
“Every game is very intense and they are all equally hard. You really can’t take any teams lightly and you have to be at your best every single week.
“I like making my actions speak louder than words but I also motivate a lot by talking on the field.”
The East London-born player said he was greatly encouraged by the current depth in his squad and believed they could book a berth in the final after losing their semifinal clash with FNB Maties by a single point last year.
“Hopefully we’ll stay injury-free.”
Aside from his professional rugby aspirations, Godfrey said he worked hard to maintain the balance with his academic commitments.
“We literally train all day every day, so in my breaks I get to classes and make sure that I put in the necessary work.”
The friendly encounter with the Cheetahs kicks off at the NMMU Stadium at 5pm.
FNB Madibaz will face FNB Maties in their first Varsity Cup game on February 3. The match will be televised and starts at 4.45pm at the NMMU Stadium.
Entrance to all matches is free and spectators are advised to arrive earlier to secure a seat.