Pretoria - Mamelodi Sundowns skipper Alje Schut revealed on Tuesday that he tried to convince Pitso Mosimane to sign fellow Dutch defender Kees Kwakman before he agreed to join Wits earlier this month.
Kwakman, 31, signed a one-year deal with the Clever Boys having previously plied his trade with a number of Dutch Eredivisie clubs, most recently NAC Breda.
"I recommended him here at Sundowns, but we had too many foreigners already, so that’s why there was a problem," Schut said.
According to Premier Soccer League (PSL) rules, clubs are allowed a maximum of five non-South African players, hindering Kwakman’s hopes of a deal with Mosimane.
"He’s a great player. I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, but I think he’s really going to structure the defence at Wits and he’s going to be a great asset in the way that they play," Schut added.
"He’s very calm on the ball, he sees the play very well and he organises defence. He was the captain of FC Groningen, he was the captain of NAC Breda so he will be a great player for Wits."
Schut said his fellow Dutchman phoned him a few weeks ago with questions about Premiership.
"I said, ‘Wits is a great team, Gavin Hunt is a good coach’," said Schut.
"I knew he was looking for some adventure like I was three years ago and he’s happy so far."
Turning his attention back to his own team, Schut said he was delighted to have won the Premiership with the Brazilians last season, but cautioned that Sundowns would not be resting on their laurels come the start of the 2014/15 campaign.
"That is dead-and-buried. If we can win the league and one more (trophy), that would be improvement," he said.
"So let’s focus on winning the league again because I would love to have that feeling again because it was a great feeling."
Schut captained Sundowns to their first Premiership trophy since 2007.
After 13 seasons playing in the Netherlands’ top league, the Eredivisie, Schut left FC Utrecht -- and moved to Sundowns in 2012, where he has flourished under Mosimane.
"It’s always important for me to be influential on my teammates. It’s not only for me to play well because I’m in the stage of my career where it’s not enough to play well just for myself.
"I need to influence players around me. I think I’ve been doing that but I need to do it even more. We (senior players) have to create a culture of winning."