Bidvest Wits F.C.

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Bidvest Wits
Bidvest Wits logo.svg
Full name Bidvest Wits Football Club
Nickname(s) The Clever Boys, The Students
Founded 1921
Ground Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg
Ground Capacity 5,000
Chairman Alfred Da Costa
Coach Gavin Hunt
League ABSA Premiership
2016–17 ABSA Premiership, 1st

Bidvest Wits Football Club, previously known as Wits University (not to be confused with the current Wits University F.C.), is a South African football club based in the Braamfontein suburb of the city of Johannesburg that currently plays in the Premier Soccer League. It is nicknamed "The Clever Boys" or "The Students" because of the close affiliation with the University of the Witwatersrand

History[edit]

The club has its roots at Wits University in Johannesburg, where it was formed in 1921 by the university's Students Representatives Council. The club competed in a variety of tournaments and leagues before eventually winning promotion to the National Football League in 1975 – then South Africa's top domestic league.

During the 1970s the club produced some of South Africa's finest players – amongst them goalkeeper Gary Bailey, who went on to play for Manchester United and England and defender Richard Gough, who later played for Rangers, Everton and Scotland.

The club won their first major title in 1978 – winning the Mainstay Cup after beating Kaizer Chiefs in the final of the competition. Six years later they picked up the BP Top 8, and a year later in 1985 they again beat Chiefs, this time in the final of the JPS Knockout Cup. The club finished 6th in the inaugural NSL season in 1985 while Scottish striker Frank McGrellis was crowned the league's top scorer with a total of 29 league and cup goals.

The 1990s saw mixed fortunes for the team. They won two trophies, the BP Top 8 and the Coca-Cola Cup in 1995 under coach John Lathan. But a year later they dropped dangerously close to being relegated from the newly formed Premier Soccer League – only surviving thanks to a spirited win on the final day of the season against Jomo Cosmos.

Mid-table finishes followed in 1997 and 1998 before the club finished sixth in 1999-00 – helped largely by the inspirational form of centre back Peter Gordon, who played over 400 times for the club and won caps for Bafana Bafana (the South African National Team), and Sam Magalefa who finished as the club's top goalscorer.

In 2000–01 the club finished a disappointing 13th under new Scottish coach Jim Bone. A year later former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Roger De Sa was appointed head coach, and he immediately restored order with the club finishing 7th in the PSL in 2002, thanks to a 3–1 victory on the final day of the season over Orlando Pirates.

Under De Sa's reign things appeared to be looking up for Wits, with the club securing third-placed finishes in the PSL in 2003 and again in 2004. But in 2005 things took a turn for the worse, as De Sa's ultra-defensive tactics, coupled with a mass player exodus at the start of the season, saw the side score just 24 goals in 30 league matches to finish bottom of the league.

At the start of the 2005–06 season, former Santos Cape Town and Maritzburg United coach Boebie Solomons was appointed as head coach, and Solomons' first season in charge brought a return to the PSL for the Clever Boys, with the club comfortably winning the Mvela Golden League (the second tier of South African football) after starting the season with six successive victories.

In June 2007 Roger De Sa rejoined the club after a two-year absence. He replaced caretaker Eric Tinkler who succeeded Boebie Solomons during the 2006–07 season.

In 2010 Wits managed to win the Nedbank Cup defeating AmaZulu in the final.

Achievements[edit]

  • Premier Soccer League 2016-17
  • Nedbank Cup Champions 1978, 2009–10
  • Telkom Knockout Winners 1985, 1995
  • MTN 8 Winners 1984, 1995, 2016
  • Mvela Golden League Champions 2005–06

Absa Premiership Champions 2016-17

Performance in CAF competitions[edit]

2004 – First Round
2011 – First Round
2015 – Preliminary Round

Notable former coaches[edit]

Club records[edit]

Source:[1]

Premier Soccer League record[edit]

Club officials/Technical team[edit]

  • Chairman: South Africa Alfred Da Costa
  • CEO: South Africa Jose Ferreira
  • COO: South Africa Jonathan Schloss
  • General manager: South Africa George Mogotsi
  • Team manager: South Africa Roy Limongelli
  • Coach: South Africa Gavin Hunt
  • Assistant coach: South Africa Paul Johnstone
  • Assistant & goalkeeper coach: South Africa Tyrone Damons

Source:[2]

First team squad[edit]

As of 9 September 2016

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 South Africa GK Darren Keet
2 South Africa DF Nazeer Allie
3 South Africa DF Thulani Hlatshwayo (Captain)
4 South Africa DF Bongani Khumalo
5 Swaziland DF Markus Lecki
6 Namibia MF Wangu Gome
7 South Africa FW Daine Klate
8 South Africa MF Thabang Monare
9 South Africa FW Eleazar Rodgers
10 Botswana FW Mogakolodi Ngele
11 Mozambique MF Domingues
13 South Africa DF Sifiso Hlanti
14 South Africa MF Granwald Scott
15 South Africa DF Buhle Mkhwanazi
16 South Africa GK Moeneeb Josephs
No. Position Player
17 Malawi FW Gabadinho Mhango
19 South Africa MF Xola Mlambo
20 South Africa DF Siyabonga Nhlapo
22 South Africa MF Jabulani Shongwe
23 South Africa FW Sifiso Myeni
24 South Africa DF Peintjie Zulu
25 Zimbabwe FW Cuthbert Malajila
27 South Africa MF Phakamani Mahlambi
28 England FW James Keene
29 South Africa DF Dillon Sheppard
30 South Africa MF Ben Motshwari
32 South Africa DF Siboniso Gaxa
36 South Africa GK Kyle Peters
38 South Africa DF Tebogo Moerane
41 South Africa MF Phumlani Ntshangase
Nigeria FW Christantus Ejike Uzoenyi

On loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
No. Position Player

Foreigners[edit]

In the South African PSL, only five non-South African nationals can be registered. Foreign players who have acquired permanent residency can be registered as locals.


Permanent residency

Shirt sponsor & kit manufacturer[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bidvest Wits". Kickoff.com. Retrieved 2013-11-17. 
  2. ^ Kickoff PSL Yearbook 2013/2014, p. 18.

External links[edit]