Absa Premiership

Being a clever student, a no brainer

2017-07-30 07:05
Gavin Hunt (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - With the kind of quality Wits have assembled, it should be easy for the book makers to make their predictions.

Even before the season starts, the Clever Boys are shoo-in favourites to retain the Absa Premiership title.

It took them 94 years to claim their maiden league championship but it should take them far less than that period to increase their tally.

Wits have been one of the busiest on the market with the arrival of three international players in Steven Pienaar, Daylon Claasen and Montenegrin defender Slavko Damjanovic.

They have also added Bokang Tlhone from Free State Stars, with whom they entered into a pre-contract as early as January.

The Students have lost Cuthbert Malajila and Mogakolodi Ngele who were on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns.

But they have a capable replacement in Claasen who is expected to fill the void left by Ngele.

The 27-year-old, however, believes it will not be easy breaking into the Wits line-up. But he has vowed to push hard to make the team.

“First thing is that I want to get back on the field and play. I don’t want to talk too much before the season starts. I can only be the best I can be,” he said this week.

He says he wants to take it easy and does not want to put himself under unnecessary pressure and would rather let his boots do the talking on the field than promise a lot.

After playing in Holand, Belgium, Poland and Germany, the former Ajax Cape Town midfielder believes he will add value to the side.

“The signs are good and I already feel at home. Coming to this club was no brainer for me as I always wanted to play for Gavin Hunt [Wits coach].

"I also have friends here and it made my decision an easy one. Gavin is a good coach and I am happy to be part of his team.”

Claasen cannot remember winning any silver medal except when he was still with the Ajax Amsterdam second team but he does not regard it as something to cherish.

His stints at Lierse in Belgium, Lech Poznan of Poland and 1860 Munich in Germany have not won him anything.

So with no serious medal to brag about in his career, he has a burning desire to start a collection and will have a chance to win his first one when Wits defend the MTN8 title next month.

With nine Bafana Bafana caps to his name, he believes being closer to the national team coach will enhance his chances of going back to the team.

“It will be good to be in the eye of the coach playing locally. But first I must make my team. With the calibre of players we have at the club, every day is a learning curve for me.”

He says South African players have what it takes to succeed overseas if they get opportunities.

“Football has evolved so much and it is all about our players’ mental attitude.”

He does not rule out the possibilities of going back to Europe one day.

But for now he wants to be a clever student, keep on learning, improve as a player and win medals.

Read more on:    bidvest wits  |  psl  |  steven pienaar  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Friday, 19 January 2018
Wits v Bloemfontein Celtic, Bidvest Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Cape Town City FC v Ajax Cape Town, Cape Town Stadium 15:30
Free State Stars v Maritzburg United, Goble Park 15:30
Mamelodi Sundowns v Platinum Stars, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 18:00
AmaZulu FC v SuperSport United, King Zwelithini Stadium 20:15
Orlando Pirates v Polokwane City, Orlando Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 21 January 2018
Chippa United v Golden Arrows, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Baroka FC v Kaizer Chiefs, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.