But the football club’s future hangs in balance due to financial constraints.
Bidvest Wits Football Club announced the signing of 10 new players at a press conference at the Wits Sports Conference Centre on July 26, 2019.
CEO Jose Ferreira and coach Gavin Hunt announced the signings for the 2019/2020 season.
Among the newly signed Clever boys were Joseph Douhadji, central-defender from the Togo national football team, former midfielder for the Black Leopards FC, Phathutshedzo Nange, and former goalkeeper for the Ajax Cape Town FC, Brandon Peterson.
Sameegh Doutie, former right winger for Swedish football team IFK Värnamo will replace Sinethemba Jantjie, who died in a car accident in April.
Entering a new season having lost thirteen players, Hunt said they are playing with a tighter and diverse squad.
Hunt told Wits Vuvuzela, “Our confidence for the new season will get better as we win. It is always worrying to start a new season not knowing what it will hold.”
After numerous speculations, Hunt has confirmed that the team’s captain, Thulani ‘Tyson’ Hlatshwayo, is “not going anywhere”.
“I will take the blame for us not winning the ABSA Premiership League last year,” added Hunt.
The Clever Boys will not be entering the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League this year.
“Taking into account our financial resources and our ability to bring in further players to have a bigger squad to participate, the CAF Confederation Cup will not be our main priority,” said Ferreira.
Ferreira also said that the joining cost for the CAF Champions League is more than the prize money, and the Clever boys will focus on playing in domestic leagues this season.
The current market in South African football is “not sustainable”. Ferreira said, “We have felt the pain in the current economic realities in South African football”.
Due to the team’s recent budget constraints the club is going through an ongoing restructuring process of their administration.
Bidvest Wits’ budget has not increased and as a result, find it difficult to buy new players as they enter a new season with additional costs from the ABSA Premiership League and the club.
Clever Boy, Sifiso Hlanti, will be out for the season for a period of time due to “a major injury”, said Hunt.
Bidvest Wits F.C. are set to play their first match against AmaZulu F.C. in the Premier Soccer League on August 3, 2019 at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban.
FEATURED IMAGE: CEO Jose Ferreira and coach Gavin Hunt announce plans for the new season. Photo: Tumelo Modiba
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