The new season will see the university’s internal football league split into an internal and external league   

Wits Internal Football League (WIFL) teams have been working hard in training, in preparation for the return of the league.

On Tuesday, March 28, Miners FC, Marshall FC and New Generation FC could be observed doing drills with cones, practising shooting and ball rotations at the Wits Digz Field. The teams could also be seen practicing their different styles of play.  

According to the Wits Sports website, the WIFL is “the oldest and largest student football league at higher education level, presently made up of 48 teams formed by societies, faculties, residences and friends”.

The 2023 season commences during the week of April 17, according to Wits Sports officer for football, Montsho Matlala, who said they aimed to revitalise the league. In the new season, teams from outside the university will play in an external league, while the internal league will be for Wits teams.  

“We want to see quality football in the internal league. We want to see more Wits students participating in the league,” said Matlala.  

Coach of Miners FC, Thulasizwe “Thulas” Hadebe, said that even though they were aiming for the top spot in the new season, “We are taking it one step at a time.” Captain Karabo “Gattuso” Mushiyana said that he had confidence in his teammates, and loved the commitment and dedication they were showing. “I believe there is great potential in the team,” he said.  

Miners FC players during a training session at the Wits Digz Fields on March 28, 2023. Photo: Ndumiso Nkosi

However, according to Miners FC player Kamogelo Phasha, some players are not coming back to play in the internal league because they are discouraged due to the lack of progress in the league.  

Hadebe said that the university should be investing more in the internal league because that is where they are supposed to be harvesting players for the Wits men’s senior football team. Mushiyana added that “It is embarrassing for Wits to not qualify for [Varsity Football, the South African university association football competition] when there is so much talent in the internal league.”   

Marshall FC captain Gift Mthethwa urged the university to allocate funds to Wits Sports to facilitate a better-run internal league. 

Matlala told Wits Vuvuzela that referee payments, training spaces, and the difficulty to conclude the league in time were some of the challenges of the league in 2022, but assured teams that they were making all the necessary planning to mitigate such challenges this season.

His message to the internal league teams ahead of the new season is that: “I hope they play good football. I hope players raise their hands to be selected for the Wits men’s senior football team.”

FEATURED IMAGE: Miners FC is aiming for the top spot in the new season. Photo: Ndumiso Nkosi