Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has urged his players to put aside all the boardroom politics and focus on the job at hand for the next five weeks.
The future of certain players is still uncertain after the club, which turns 100 years in 2021, was recently sold to a new owner in Limpopo.
Former Bidvest Wits chairman questions the manner in which the club was sold:
The Students who relocate to Venda at the end of the season, face Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup semi-final at Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening.
A lot has been said about the sale of South Africa’s oldest professional club, but the sale was endorsed by the National Soccer league in July. Several top players of Wits, including Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo, are unlikely to relocate to Limpopo at the end of the season.
Hunt says they will try their best.
“Let’s get all the boardroom stuff out of the way, let’s just play and see where we go – but we competing, we are going to try our best like always. We’ve got a good bunch of guys, the mentality can hopefully see us through. It’s physically impossible to play the amount of games in the space of time. We are going to play with the squad that we have. I think I stand to be corrected, but I think we’ve got the smallest squad in the league.”
Some of the club’s top players have already received lucrative offers elsewhere.
Hunt says his players will need to show mental strength to end the existence of the club on a high.
“I always say you know if you pay your dues in football, football will reward you and some of them have been rewarded very well; obviously they got much better contracts than they got now going forward. The rest obviously we myself we hope playing for our futures you know so hopefully we can give a good performance and finish the season well.”
Sundowns on course to win season’s treble
On the other hand, Sundowns are still on course to win a treble this season. The Brazilians, who lifted the Telkom Knock-out earlier this season, trail log leaders Kaizer Chiefs by just four points with one match in hand.
Club coach Pitso Mosimane says he can’t wait for football to resume in the country.
“Ready, I’m not sure let’s see the football under COVID-19 if we ready. I’ve got my expectations; from what I’ve been seeing, football under COVID-19 on TV so I can presume and say that. But we will have eleven players on the pitch; we will have five subs, we will have all the protocols of COVID-19 observed and we will play.”
Mosimane says having to play 10 or more matches within a very short space of time, will make players vulnerable to injuries.
“We’ve got three and a half months without playing football and then you have that problem, so let’s see what’s going to happen with the injuries. Let’s see if the body is ready. So it’s for us to make sure that we manage the games, we manage injuries. You know I like to play the same team all the time I don’t think that thing will happen because I’m going to get injuries if I do that.”
The first semi-final between Baroka and Bloemfontein Celtic starts at 14:00 and the second match between Sundowns and Wits kicks off at 19:15. Both matches will be broadcast live on SABC 1.