Wits left frustrated by lack of trophies


While in public the Clever Boys have been celebrating a record points haul in the Premier League and finishing runners-up to Mamelodi Sundowns, ending the season empty-handed for a third successive campaign under Gavin Hunt has been met with derision almost.

Ferreira, who is usually behind the scenes but can be seen pacing up and down during home games, stood up to give an honest and sobering speech.

You got the feeling next season - for real this time - could be make or break for Hunt. However, he has been a bridesmaid in three seasons at Wits. The coach is well aware of the focus on his tenure in a few months’ time when the 2016/17 league campaign commences and it is almost certain there will be some performance clauses in his new contract, which he expects to sign “soon”.

“I think it is right that there’s disappointment,” Hunt said.

“You can see the awards were very low-key and if you go to Chloorkop (Sundowns’ base) there will be a fanfare, and rightly so because they deserve to win the league. I told the board to keep it low-key. We came second and we never won a trophy. The league has always been the focus. That’s where you get judged. The last five games (in which Wits managed just one victory) we dropped off the pace.”

Ferreira’s soliloquy was followed by another from the big boss, Brian Joffe, who was simply comic relief - telling Hunt he expects him to win the league next season. The Wits chairman did so with a smile on his face. But, as the old adage goes, many a true word is spoken in jest.

“I don’t know how I am going to win the league,” was Hunt’s witty response, before he composed himself to add that:

“I think next season the pressure is going to be created within because some people still believe we are not part of the big three in this country even though we have been there the last three seasons.

Chiefs, Pirates and Sundowns will strengthen their teams. But what do you strengthen with? That is the biggest problem in SA football. We have the upper hand in that we blood in the youngsters.”

He accepts his track record and profile, especially following the three successive titles with SuperSport United between 2008 and 2010, is the reason why the critics have hammered him over the club’s empty trophy cabinet.

Hunt, who reminded journalists that Wits Young Player of the Year - Phakamani Mahlambi - got injured at a crucial point in the season to give Sundowns an advantage, is not worried about being offered a new deal.

“I don’t want to say that, but that (his personal record) certainly makes a difference. You’ve just got to read the newspapers where you guys say I have lost the plot, I am failing and falling off the pace. I haven’t signed anything as we talk right now, but I am sure we will sort something out soon. If I don’t, where will I go? I’m sure we will sort something out,” the coach said.



The Star

Original source: Wits left frustrated by lack of trophies