Gavin Hunt’s men secured a 2-0 victory over Chippa United in the Nedbank Cup round of 16.
The Durban club could not penetrate Bidvest Wits’ defence. (more…)
The Bidvest Wits celebrate after they won their maiden Absa Premiership, 96 years after the team was established.
Nomvelo Chalumbira & Gypseenia Lion
Sibusiso Vilakazi started playing soccer at the age of 11. At 24, the captain of Bidvest Wits is the newest member of Bafana Bafana and has dreams of playing internationally in the near future.
Vilakazi started his career playing street soccer in Meadowlands, Soweto and was later signed by local team, Meadowlands Chelsea, as a goalkeeper.
The current midfielder of both the national team and the Clever Boys made his (PSL) Premier Soccer League debut in 2009 when he joined Bidvest Wits juniors and Bidboys. He says it has always been his dream to play for an overseas professional team.
Vilakazi tried out several times for Danish club Brondby FC in the past two years with a deal falling through at the last minute each time.
“I have experienced setbacks but everything happens for a reason. I have faith that it will happen someday,” he said.
The soccer star is however making strides locally having been tirelessly pursued by the Glamour Boys, Kaizer Chiefs, this past transfer window.
Nicknamed “General” by his fans, Vilakazi was called up to the national team in October 2013 and nearly a year later says he still gets excited to represent his country. “Every time I go play for the team I get very excited,” he says.
Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela in his number 10 Wits jersey, Vilakazi says he prefers to spend his spare time with his family in Meadowlands.
“I am a family man,” he says but adds that he occasionally has a few drinks with his friends.
‘Vila’, as most of his Wits teammates call him, says he makes it his priority to build solid friendships with the players. “We need to have that relationship as a team,” says Vilakazi.
As for his pre-match routines, Vilakazi takes a relaxed approach. “I sit on my bed for hours, with the TV on and think about the game,” he says.
And for the question his female fans most want the answer to: Vilakazi says he currently doesn’t have a girlfriend but appreciates the adoration he has been getting from his devoted supporters.
Bidvest Wits beat Maritzburg United by a solitary goal to remain unbeaten in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) at Bidvest Stadium this evening.
The Clever Boys started the match with a number of new players and managed to create multiple scoring opportunities but ended the game with little to show for it apart from the goal of Sthembiso Ngcobo.
The change in formation with no wingers in midfield and two strikers upfront seemed to challenge the home side’s creativity.
Gavin Hunt, Bidvest Wits coach told Wits Vuvuzela after the match: ”To play with two strikers you have to play with no width, so we played with no width today although on Sunday we tried and we just got burnt.”
Phumlani Ntshangase played his first game of the season for the Clever Boys, received the man of the match award along with weighty praise from the coach.
“He was the difference in the team, he was fantastic … I should have put him in a long time ago bit obviously he was suspended in the beginning of the season and now he can come in,” Hunt said.
Cornelis Kwakman, a Wits defender, also played his first game since arriving from the Netherlands and kept a clean sheet for his team, putting himself in strong contention for selection as the team’s main centre back.
Kwakman told Wits Vuvuzela: “The teams performance was very good, if you saw the pitch it was very difficult to play. We had a lot of chances today, I have not seen more chances for the team this whole season.”
The Clever Boys face Orlando Pirates in the second leg of the MTN8 at Orlando Stadium this Saturday with a two goal deficit working against them.
A drastically changed Clever Boys team lost to Maritzburg United 1-0 in their last home game of the season at Bidvest Stadium tonight.
Nine players from Saturday’s Nedbank Cup win over Kaizer Chiefs were replaced in the match against Maritzburg, in what was in effect a dead rubber for both sides. Maritzburg had already avoided relegation and have no chance of reaching the top eight in the league.
In contrast the Clever Boys have secured third position and cannot drop or climb the table in their last league game of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) season against Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday.
The first half was a stalemate with both teams evenly matched.
Both teams saw half opportunities which were squandered by the players.
The game had lacked the the usual pace and excitement from both teams with players looking fatigued.
In the second half Maritzburg United seemed to kick into higher gear as their coach, Steve Khompela, made all three substitutes with 30 minutes still lefton the clock.
The switch paid off for Khompela as his players responded with a goal in the 70th minute by Kurt Lentjies, which proved to be decisive blow.
Following the loss Bidvest Wits coach, Gavin Hunt, told Wits Vuvuzela that none of the players on the field were particularly impressive.
Responding to a question about the team selection for next Saturday’s Nedbank Cup final against Orlando Pirates, the coach as adamant: ” Back to the A-team,” he said.
WEDNESDAY night’s at home draw with Kaizer Chiefs was a fair reflection of the Clever Boys frustrating, score-scarce season.
While the match was packed with drama, none of the excitement resulted in any goals, leaving Bidvest Wits to continue their seven-match unbeaten run of which three were goalless draws.
The draws have resulted in the Clever Boys falling short of their main rivals Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs.
“We should have won the league this year, we have drawn five games like this at home when we should have won all of them comfortably,” Clever Boys coach Gavin Hunt said.
Wednesday’s match saw an exciting first half with poor finishing being the only downfall for the Clever boys.
The second half saw both teams hit the woodwork, with both goalkeepers pulling off good quality saves.
The PSL League Title
A win for Wits would have surely handed Sundowns the Premier Soccer League title, but Mamelodi fans were still feeling good with the draw denting Kaizer Chiefs title hopes.
The Clever Boys have all but secured third position in the league with their nearest contenders SuperSport United languishing eleven points behind after their 0-1 defeat to bottom-of-the-log Golden Arrows.
The Clever Boys move their attention
The Clever Boys’ attention will now move to their semi-final clash for the Nedbank Cup on May 3 where they will again face Kaizer Chiefs. They will be looking for revenge after their disappointing league outing as well as a pay-out of at least R7-million for the cup winners. The home ground advantage for the Clever Boys may be a telling factor.
A Nedbank Cup victory would mean a lot to Hunt, who will be marking his one-year anniversary at the club next month. He said Wednesday’s match couldn’t be compared to the coming Nedbank Cup clash as they were completely different.
A new look team
Hunt has come to the Clever Boys and changed their style of playing drastically with some pleasing results. The team is on track to improve its log position from last season, where it placed fourth, by a slim margin.
This season has seen Bidvest Wits make big strides in their conquest to become the best team in South Africa with the likes of S’thembiso Ngcobo arriving from Kaizer Chiefs and Jabulani Shongwe arriving from Sundowns in the January transfer window.
The arrival of Hunt and the new players could put the team in a completely different position and next season could see the Clever Boys win their first PSL title.
“You will always aim to do better than last season, next season we going to go out for it and make sure we win something,” said Clever Boys left back Onismor Bhasera.
Wits will finish the season with three matches in the PSL against Maritzburg United, Pirates and Bloemfontein Celtic, on top of their Nedbank Cup duties.
Bidvest Wits showed impressive form last night, keeping the visitors Kaizer Chiefs away from a victory they so desperately wanted.
The Clever Boys drew 0-0 in the Absa Premier League match against AmaKhosi at the Bidvest Wits Stadium, last night.
The Clever Boys supporters jumped for joy 61 minutes into the game when Sithembiso Ngcobo’s finish from Sibusiso Vilakazi resulted in what seemed to be a goal, but this joy was short-lived, as the goal was ruled out for an offside. This highlight of the match summed up the dominance of ball possession by Bidvest Wits.
The first 10 minutes of the game consisted of many goal attempts by both teams and one free kick for the Clever Boys. Chiefs striker, Simphiwe Tshabalala crossed and missed yet another chance to bring victory to Amakhosi.
Shortly after, Amos Ngcobo almost hit the target for the Clever Boys but this was met by a good save by Amakhosi captain, Itumeleng Khune.
[pullquote] “The Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits fans set the tone for the game from the start, with the Bidvest Wits band leading vibrant songs of encouragement from the sidelines and the sound of vuvuzelas blasting from both the blue and gold bloods. “[/pullquote]
The Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits fans set the tone for the game from the start, with the Bidvest Wits band leading vibrant songs of encouragement from the sidelines and the sound of vuvuzelas blasting from both the blue and gold ends.
In hopes of gaining victory Chief’s Siboniso Gaxa passed the ball to George Lebese who flared his lines and missed the ball. Minutes later the host made a change sending in Calvin Kadi and benching Asive Langwe. In response to Lebese’s miss, Chiefs followed the same strategy and sent him out in exchange for George Maluleka.
In what looked like a tug of war 30 minutes into the match, Vilakazi, the Clever Boys captain’s attempted to shoot for the target and was hindered by the defense of Masilela. In response to this Vilakazi tripped Masilela in pursuit of the ball and earned Chiefs a corner kick.
The Clever Boys used their home ground advantage making the AmaKhosi boys struggle as Bidvest Wits striker Papy Faty finished with a shot which was unfortunately above the bar.
In an exciting turn of events Chiefs almost scored an own goal but Khune diverted the ball away from the goals.
Half time saw both teams with no goals and the Clever Boys with more attempts at goal and dominant ball position. The second half of the match was similar to the first with both the blue and gold bloods fighting to win the match.
The remaining 20 minutes of the match showed a fighting spirit for the Amakhosi but the Clever Boys kept their guard up. Bidvest Wits retained dominant ball position from the beginning of the match until the end and as a result Kwanda Mngonyama was honored as the man of the match.
A 1-0 VICTORY over Platinum Stars on Wednesday night have left the Clever Boys in good position going into the title finale.
The win for Bidvest Wits have put them in touch with league leaders Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs with six games remaining for the Clever Boys.
Anything can happen in an eagerly anticipated finish to the Premier Soccer League season, which sees Wits eight points off the leaders, Sundowns, with two games in hand.
The title hopes this season are shouldered upon the experienced players for Bidvest Wit. Substitute player Erwin Issacs said the Clever Boys had a chance because they were underestimated by bigger teams.[pullquote]”…We are all about the fight, team spirit and the three points.”[/pullquote]
“People are looking at the top teams like Sundowns and Chiefs, they don’t worry about us. We will come from behind, we need to win our two games in hand and we know we only two points behind. We are all about the fight, team spirit and the three points,” Issacs said.
Bidvest Wits vs Platinum Stars
The first half of Wednesday’s match was a tactician’s dream, with both teams held to a goalless stalemate.
The second half seemed to be heading the same way, until Bivest Wits coach Gavin Hunt made a match-changing substitute in a last ditch effort to win the game.
The substitute, left-wing Asive Langwe, scored 82 minutes into the match in what would be the decisive blow as the Clever Boys held out for the win.
Bidvest Wits next fixture is against Moroko Swallows on April 16. The Clever Boys will have the home ground advantage and will be looking for another win.
The Bidvest Wits team, despite going down 2-1 to Orlando Pirates the previous night, were happy to mix with their supporters on Wednesday during O-week. The team gladly posed for pictures, signed autographs, and chatted with students, while smitten females fans ogled their favourite players as the gents looked on in jealous admiration.
On Monday afternoon Wits University faced North West University (NWU) in the kick-off game for the Varsity Football tournament.
The game took place at the Milpark stadium where hundreds of fans came fully geared up in support of their teams. Wits University got a white-wash from NWU 4-0.
Francois Pienaar, captain of the 1995 Rugby World Cup winning Springbok team could be seen supporting the players.
The stadium shook with cheering fans stamping their feet and blowing their vuvuzelas.
- Wits Vuvuzela: NWU hand Wits drubbing at Varsity Football opener, July 24, 2013.
THE new football season will kick off with Bidvest Wits signing stars Moeneeb Josephs, Matthew Booth and Benjani Mwaruwari on the squad, according to reports in the media.
Josephs has secured a three year contract with the Clever Boys.
Booth and Mwaruwari have signed a one year contract, with an option to extend the contract for an additional year.
The signing of players to Bidvest Wits is a move away from the club’s tradition of young players, as the trio are in their 30’s.
The Clever Boys are currently training in Cape Town for the next season start in August where they will face Platinum Stars.
The club also starts the season with new coach Gavin Hunt who replaces Clive Barker.
Bidvest management declined to comment on details of the new signings.