by Percy Matshoba | Sep 19, 2014 | Sport
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.
by Luca Kotton | Aug 15, 2014 | Sport
WONDER KID: Attacking player Liam Jordan has attracted interest overseas, he arrived back in South Africa this week to continue training with Bidvest Wits first team. Photo: Provided
SIXTEEN-year-old Liam Jordan, the youngest player to sign a first team contract in the Premier Soccer League (PSL), shows a maturity beyond his years when he talks about recent personal hardships and how he got to where he is in his career.
Bidvest Wits have invested in Jordan’s future. He is a South African born youngster who played football in New Zealand for most of his life before coming back to Johannesburg from where he hails. Jordan started playing at Edenvale Football Club in the east of Johannesburg at the age of four. His mother and father moved to New Zealand in 2004, and Liam played football in the country for nine years at East Coast Bays, Albany United and Onehunga Sports. He also played at an academy called Wynrs.
The versatile attacking player’s famous father, Keryn Jordan, was a prolific goal scorer and started his career at Manning Rangers, scoring 52 goals in 94 starts for Rangers. He moved to New Zealand to play for Auckland City where he scored 76 goals in 100 games. Despite his goal scoring prowess he only managed one cap for Bafana Bafana in a 2-1 win over Botswana in 2009. Fourteen years to the day, Jordan was diagnosed with cancer and passed away late last year after a long battle with the disease.
“My father taught me everything that I know, about the do’s and don’ts, on and off the field. We had so many one-on-one trainings, tears and laughs, I have lost count but those were the trainings that built me as a player and a person. My father is my inspiration every day to do better and I want to play professionally one day for both of us,” Jordan said.
Jordan recently has played for Brondby, a Danish club which has been linked to Bidvest Wits captain Sibusiso Vilakazi for over a year. Brondby asked Bidvest Wits for five of their youth players to train with them while in Denmark and three of the Clever Boys were given extra attention from the Danish club.
Liam Jordan and Marcelo Mendes stayed on in Europe with Brondby to play another tournament in Holland, where the two boys impressed as the Danish outfit went all the way to the final of the tournament, losing out to Maccabi Tel Aviv.
The third player, Thabang Mufamadi, is expected to join Brondby next week for a period of three months, on a trial basis.
Jordan relished his experience in Europe. “Of course I want to play in Europe one day; whether or not I can stay here, I am not entirely sure.”
Bidvest Wits coach, Gavin Hunt said Jordan had a role to play this season for the Clever Boys and would definitely play.
He arrived back in South Africa this week and has been given time off training to recover after two overseas tournaments with Bidvest Wits and Brondby FC.