WITH only four games to go in the ABSA Premiership, and Bidvest Wits sitting fourth on the log, the Clever Boys’ match against reigning champions Orlando Pirates on Saturday is poised to be a thriller.

Wits are aiming to hold on to fourth place for their highest ever finish since the league’s inception in 1996, with only one point separating them from fifth-placed Supersport United. Pirates, nine points behind leaders Kaizer Chiefs, are also looking for a win with their hopes of winning a third consecutive league trophy diminishing fast.

Only a victory will keep the Bucs in the title race.

Bidvest have had a tremendous season under African Nations Cup-winning coach Clive Barker, who has the team playing attacking football. A player who has shone for Wits this season is midfielder and captain Sibusiso Vilakazi.

Playmaker: Sibusiso Vilakazi has been key to the Clever Boys' success this season.

Playmaker: Sibusiso Vilakazi has been key to the Clever Boys’ success this season.

 

The 23-year-old is an important part of a Wits midfield quintet that has played the socks off a majority of opponents this season. His performances, especially over the past two seasons, have earned the Meadowlands-born lynchpin plenty of admirers.

Although he has only scored three goals this season, Vilakazi is chief instigator of Bidvest’s forward play and has an eye for a pass, combined with pace and skill.

He is modest about his own talents though, and accepts praise reluctantly.

“I never thought or imagined I would be a pro footballer. But once I joined Wits I could see myself one step closer to making the first team.”

“Zuma” or “General”, as he has been dubbed by supporters, took to the game at the age of eight and never looked back. He has played continually except for in his matric year when he had to decide between school and pursuing a football career.

He decided to do both and is currently studying business management at Unisa.

“It’s pressure balancing the football with the studies, but you have to commit yourself and do the job”.

Wits will be counting on their captain to do the job for them on Saturday against Pirates and lead his team to a tenth victory and step closer to a top four finish.

mfuneko@witsvuvuzela.com