#FMF protestor tries for (wo)man of the match

It was an interesting day on the soccer pitch on Tuesday night when a game between the Clever Boys and Kaizer Chiefs boasted an appearance by a #FEESMUSTFALL  protester.

 

It was more than soccer obstacles in the way for Bidvest Wits on Tuesday night when during their clash with Kaizer Chiefs, a Wits student protester holding #FEESMUSTFALL banner ran across the pitch.

The student, Busisiwe Catherine Seabe, ran in the 78th minute of the game across the pitch waving the #FEESMUSTFALL banner. She was stopped by a player and stadium security and taken to the Hillbrow Police station.

“I was charged apparently with contravening an act from 2010, I’m not sure what this act is and neither are my legal representatives,” said Seabe.

Seabe was released this morning and has been back on campus, “I’m waiting to appear at the Hillbrow court at 8:30am on Friday, I am waiting to be briefed by my legal team about this,” said Seabe.

According to Seabe, she and other FMF members went to match without the intention of protesting.

“We were just watching the game funny enough and everyone brought tickets to support the team,” Seabe told Wits Vuvuzela.

Seabe said that while watching the match, she was inspired to stage an unplanned protest on the pitch.

“Bidvest is a large part of the Wits community. If Bidvest can come on campus and ask students for support then surely the students can ask them for support when we are facing issues of accommodation, fees … The soccer industry generates millions in revenue,” Seabe said.

After dodging Campus Control on the pitch, Seabe was eventually stopped by new Clever Boy S’fiso Hlanti who didn’t seem too impressed with her actions. “He actually just asked me what am I doing? What was on the banner?’,” said Seabe.

In the footage of the incident, a member of the Bidvest management team is seen approaching the apprehended Seabe and pulling the banner from her, “I was hurt in the scuff of the pulling, my pants got torn but it’s fine,” Seabe said.

She adds that even despite having exited the pitch and some fans applauding, Bidvest staff members were still unimpressed, “It was a bit violent to a certain extent even when I was off the pitch, PSL management was very upset.”

But it seems no one is as upset as her mother who believes fee protesters have already made their point, “My mom is livid! She keeps telling me I must stop, the country gets it now.”

https://www.facebook.com/mchangana.live/videos/10206055106511984/

Clever Boys end season with a win at home 

Bidvest Wits come away with their second consecutive third place in the Absa Premiership. Although Wits let their guard down in the last game of the season, they came away with a win at home.

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HUMBLE WITS:Bidvest Wits squad posing for a photo with fans on the field after the game. Photo: Anlerie de Wet

The Clever Boys slipped one goal past the Platinum Stars earlier today to finish third, one above Orlando Pirates, on the Absa Premiership table.

After taking to the field at the Bidvest stadium, the teams joined the crowd in a moment of silence for the victims of xenophobia. 

The first half was very slow paced with Bidvest Wits holding the majority of the ball possession. The home team received many opportunities at goal but struggled to push it through.

After a number of attempts at goal,  Vincent Pule, in the number twelve jersey, sliced the ball past five Platinum Stars players to put Wits on the score board in the 30th minute.

In the last twenty minutes of the game play slowed as both teams seemed to have lost focus.

The ref gave an extra four minutes for injury time in which Hunt instructed his team to keep the ball and let the time run out. As time ran out Wits kicked the ball out of play and the final whistle blew.

“I’m happy we managed to get a point, but we just couldn’t convert chances,” said Bidvest Wits captain, Buhle Makwanazi.
“Platinum Stars have good individual players and are not an easy team to face … although we played well, we need to work on conversions,” said Makhwanazi.

Wits’ goal for the 2014/2015 premiership was to surpass last year’s third place season finish, according to coach Gavin Hunt. “We wanted to do better this year, but third is still fantastic,” Hunt said. 

Compared to last season’s statistics, Bidvest Wits are down by three points and had one less win. Kaizer Chiefs won the premiership with Mamelodi Sundowns finishing in second.  

The Clever Boys show Orlando Pirates the door

Bidvest Wits beat Orlando Pirates 2-0 in Tuesday night’s mid-week encounter of the Premier Soccer League.

by Masego Panyane and Sinikiwe Mqadi

The Bidvest Wits side that slayed the Soweto Giants Orlando Pirates on Tuesday evening. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

CLEVER BOYS: The Bidvest Wits side that silenced the mighty Soweto giants Orlando Pirates on Tuesday evening. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

 

The battle for third place in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) continued after Bidvest Wits walked away with a convincing victory against Orlando Pirates at home last night.

The Clever Boys were simply on fire, scoring both goals in the opening 16 minutes of the game courtesy of Calvin Kadi.

The goals were Kadi’s first  in the season: “I am really happy that I managed to get two goals after a very long time without playing – it was a tough game,” he said.

In the second half The Buccaneers pushed forward but were kept at bay by Wits’ goalkeeper, Moneeb Josephs and the Wits defence.

Lennox Bacela tried to save his team by slotting in a goal in the 55th minute, but it was ruled an offside.

” Mistakes do happen and…You know I felt a bit sorry for the boy”.

The Clever Boys finished their match with 10 men, after Phumlani Ntshangase was shown the red card in the 84th minute after an unfair tackle on Lennox Bacela.

Orlando Pirates coach Eric Tinkler acknowledged that a mistake made early on in the game by full back Patrick Phungwayo cost them the first goal. He said, “Mistakes do happen and … You know I felt a bit sorry for the boy”.

On the team’s performance in the match and how that affects their league race chances, Tinkler said: “The hype around the game and the importance of the game got to the players … so I think that’s why they possibly dropped their heads”.

This victory leaves Wits in fourth position on the league table. Wits and Pirates are now level on points, but The Clever Boys have one more game in hand.

The team is fighting to finish second on the PSL log but coach Gavin Hunt says there are challenges, “We are so thin of players, we are struggling with numbers … lots of injuries,” he said.

The Clever Boys will meet Chippa United on the 18th of April at Bidvest Stadium.

SOCCER: Freshers meet and greet Bidvest Wits players

MY TURN: First years patiently waiting for their turn to get their posters signed by

MY TURN: First years patiently wait for their turn to get their posters signed by Bidvest Wits player Christopher Katongo.                                       Photo: Nqobile Dludla

First years talked non-stop about finally meeting their favourite Bidvest Wits players on Sunday at the orientation week welcome day friendly match between the Clever Boys and the Wits Football Club.

First-year Sonwabile Nzeke from Klerksdorp couldn’t believe that he finally got to meet the Bidvest Wits team in person.

“Yoh I’m not even going to wash my body today because my favourite Bidvest Wits players signed my arm. I even stole a few signed posters [of the squad]”

“The level of facilities were impressive because we come from rural towns where there is hardly anything. From the sport facility, to how the players played,” said Nzeke.

His newly-found friend, Lesiba Phahladira, was also in awe as it was his first time ever at a stadium.

“The match was quite entertaining because this was my first time at the stadium for a live match. My favourite Bidvest Wits player is Rowen Fernandez. When he signed [my hand] I felt like calling my mom and say ‘Fernandez touched my hand’. It was so great,” said Phahladira.

The emotional Ramathaba Masipa Bidvest Wits said he “almost cried” when he saw Moeneeb Josephs who is widely known as ‘Slim Kat’.

“Yoh I’m not even going to wash my body today because my favourite Bidvest Wits players signed my arm”

“From a very young age I’ve always been a supporter. It was great seeing them, I even got an autograph and took pictures with Katongo, Slim Kat. Yoh, I almost cried I was emotional. I’ve always wanted to meet Slim Kat in person and he was so friendly. On the pitch he is normally crazy so I expected him to be mean,” said Masipa.

Conflicted in which team to support, the stadium shock nonetheless in excitement when Yusuf Jappie’s only winning goal sent Bidvest Wits into a lead just before half time.

“It was a good game. The university played very well to be honest. Good on the ball, good technically. We have a lot of young players coming through so this is a perfect opportunity to look at them and see at what they can do and these are the games that give us that indication. We’ll continue to groom but individually they are talented and that’s important for us,” said assistant coach Andre Arendse.

 

The General marches forward

KICKER: The General, Sibusiso Vilakazi is not so relaxed about making it to the top.  Photo: Luca Kotton

KICKER: The General, Sibusiso Vilakazi is not so relaxed about making it to the top.
Photo: Luca Kotton

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.

SOCCER: Wits Clever Boys kick off the season in style

 

HAPPY PEOPLE: A small crowd of around 20 Bidvest Wits fans watched the game at Lucas Moripe Stadium. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

HAPPY PEOPLE: A small crowd of around 20 Bidvest Wits fans watched the game at Lucas Moripe Stadium. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

The new football season kicked off on Friday and last night, The Clever Boys bagged their first three points with a win over Supersports United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria.

Bidvest Wits started the season off in ideal fashion bagging three points in their 1-0 win.

S’thembiso Ngcobo bagged a second half penalty when captain Sibusiso Vilakazi was brought down in the box after a clumsy challenge by Supersports United’s new signing Michael Morton, previously of Maritzburg United.

The penalty was converted nervously by the Wits striker after hitting the upright and the ball just making it past the Supersport goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

The Clever boys goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane was the hero for the night as he made a flurry of saves to keep the Supersport attack at bay. Mabokgwane was rewarded for his efforts with the man of the match award.

Giorgi Nergadze made his first appearance for Bidvest Wits after finally sorting out issues with his work permit. The problem has persisted throughout the Premier Soccer League (PSL) with many overseas players missing out on their new teams first games.

Bidvest Wits will face the University of Pretoria in a home derby on Tuesday night.

Hunt looks to the youth for his team’s success

 

THE BOSS: Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt credits “fantastic” Witsies for filling the home stadium and creating a great atmosphere for the Clever Boys.                                  Photo: Luke Matthews

THE BOSS: Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt credits “fantastic” Witsies for filling the home stadium and creating a great atmosphere for the Clever Boys. Photo: Luke Matthews

The players of Bidvest Wits have been on a winning streak, having won three matches in a row this year. This can, in part, be attributed to the amazing support students’ shower on their team, according to the team’s dynamic and experienced coach.

“The students have been fantastic,” Gavin Hunt, the 49-year-old Bidvest Wits head coach who praised the students of the university for filling up stadiums with enthusiasm.

This helped to create a great atmosphere for recent home matches.

In an interview with Wits Vuvuzela on Tuesday, the six-foot tall coach praised Wits students for their support.

This, he felt, contributed to the form of the players. The team is now placed third on the log, with a game in hand. Saturday saw a 3-1 victory over fellow league chasers, Mamelodi Sundowns. The game was highlighted by an impressive debut by 18-year-old Tebogo Moerane.

However, Hunt still believes there is a lot of work to be done and football changes will happen slowly but surely in a controlled manner. Despite the attractive football played this season, Hunt said, “I have a way I like to play and it will take a little bit of time”.

Varsity Cup Football

When asked about Varsity Cup football, Hunt said it is a good vehicle for talent identification and promoting the game on campus. He added, “I feel the varsity team should be closer linked to Bidvest Wits”.

[pullquote]Bidvest Wits has one of the strongest youth development programs in the country.[/pullquote]

Hunt will be watching the Varsity Cup tournament looking to potential talent to invite to training. It is clear from his Supersport United days, where he won three consecutive Premier Soccer League (PSL) titles, that Hunt is passionate about youth development. Bidvest Wits has one of the strongest youth development programs  in the country and when asked, Hunt said that bigger clubs don’t produce academy players because of their financial muscle to buy players.

However, he said, “clubs like ours; we have to do it through the youth”. Hunt said he sees the PSL as more of a development league and a good platform to give young players the opportunities to play. Witsies can look forward to their team doing well in the Nedbank Cup, says Hunt. Regarding the Clever Boys’ league aspirations, Hunt said, “Chiefs are going to have to explode, if anyone stands a chance, which I don’t see happening but anything is possible in football”.

Bidvest Wits’ next game is scheduled for the ninth of March, after the international break. The team will be looking to continue their three-match winning streak in an away game against Polokwane City.

Hunt, the man

Hunt seems to be ideally placed to lead Bidvest Wits, describing his life thus: “Football, football and sport.”

Sport is his passion, when he is not soccer coaching, he is playing golf off  his two handicap. The member of the Modderfontein Golf Club, also likes to read widely on a variety of topics.