The Wits Football team has welcomed some new players who are eager to make an impression.

The Wits Football team is off to a strong start in the Varsity Football tournament this year, following its 3-2 win against University Sports South Africa-Soccer champions, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) on Thursday, July 25, at Howard College Rugby Stadium in Durban.

Wits Vuvuzela caught up with some of the new players on the team to get to know some of the faces we’ll be backing throughout the tournament.

First up was 24-year-old Sandile Mbatha from KwaZulu-Natal, The BA honours student left North West University, where he completed a BA in public administration and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, to join Wits and has already made his presence felt on the team by scoring the second goal during the last week’s match against UKZN.

Another postgraduate transfer to the team is Clinton Mphahlele, who completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Pretoria and is studying towards an LLB.

The 22-year-old right-wing hails from Lebowakgomo, a township outside Polokwane, Limpopo, where he has played soccer for as long as he can remember.

His passion for the sport drove him to play for Wits Football, which he says allows him to take care of his health, meet interesting people, and play alongside a talented group of players.

“Through playing football, I’ve learned there’s always room for improvement in anything in life,” Mphahlele says.

This year, Wits Football welcomed two members from the Kaizer Chiefs family. The first is 19-year-old central midfielder Bokang Tlali from Free State who played for the Chiefs development programme but had to stop to focus on his school work.

Second is 20-year-old Kal Laing from Eshowe, KZN, who juggles playing for both Wits Football and Kaizer Chiefs with his studies as a first-year BSc student.

Laing says that playing football kept him away from the negative influences in his hometown.

“Football was something to keep me off the street. When I play I forget about my problems, it’s just me and the ball, and that’s what keeps me going,” he told Wits Vuvuzela.

Another player to watch for those keeping up with both Wits Football and Bidvest Wits FC will be goalkeeper Matthew Carelse.

At just 18-years-old, Cape Town-born Carelse was able to play for the Bidvest Wits team before the PSL season began and has his eyes set on playing for South Africa in the 2022 Fifa World Cup. “I hope to make a big name for myself and be one of the best in Africa,” He said.

The team will be playing its next match in the Varsity Football tournament in the Joburg derby against UJ Football on Thursday, 9 August, at UJ Stadium.

The Witsies will return to home ground on Thursday, August 16, where they will play against UP Tuks Football.

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