Absa Premiership

Wits begin revival quest

2018-01-05 12:45
Gavin Hunt (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Absa Premiership champions Wits restart their quest to move off the foot of the table when they host Free State Stars at the Bidvest Stadium on Friday night.

The Clever Boys endured a nightmare start to their title defence after winning only two of 14 games and scoring just seven times in the league, although they did muster enough form in the Telkom Knockout to win that competition.

Prior to going into the break, Wits suffered another big setback when they were beaten by fellow strugglers Platinum Stars, and they managed only three points from five matches leading up to Christmas.

Head coach Gavin Hunt has already done quite a bit of business in the mid-season transfer window, bringing in striker Lehlohonolo Majoro from Cape Town City as well as former Orlando Pirates midfield hard-man Edwin Gyimah. 

Cape Town City defender Robin Johannes, Polokwane City striker Thobani Mncwango and Maritzburg defender Denis Weidlich have also signed for the Students, but will only join for next season.

While Wits have been struggling, Free State Stars have been enjoying a very positive campaign and are currently in fifth place, only six points behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

Head coach Luc Eymael appears the perfect fit for the Bethlehem-based team and spoke earlier this week of his happiness at the club.

"I have found people who are upfront with me and enjoy my work. I have also found a nice group of players.

"They have also adapted very quickly to my methods of training, which was most important to me," he told the Star.

"The results are there. I spoke to the chairman and told him I would like to have 22 points at the end of the first round, and we have obtained that."

Eymael's challenge now is to keep that momentum going.

The Belgian however will be without two of his most experienced campaigners as both Nhlanhla Vilakazi and Patrick Phungwayo are suspended.


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Tuesday, 24 April 2018
Ajax Cape Town v Baroka FC, Athlone Stadium 19:30
Bloemfontein Celtic v Chippa United, Dr Molemela Stadium 19:30
Golden Arrows v Kaizer Chiefs, Princess Magogo Stadium 19:30
Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Maritzburg United v Mamelodi Sundowns, Harry Gwala Stadium 19:30
SuperSport United v Free State Stars, Lucas Moripe Stadium 19:30
Polokwane City v Cape Town City FC, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
Orlando Pirates v Wits, Orlando Stadium 19:30
Platinum Stars v AmaZulu FC, Royal Bafokeng Stadium 19:30
Saturday, 28 April 2018
Wits v AmaZulu FC, Bidvest Stadium 15:00
Cape Town City FC v Orlando Pirates, Cape Town Stadium 15:00
Kaizer Chiefs v Maritzburg United, FNB Stadium 15:00
Free State Stars v Polokwane City, Goble Park 15:00
Mamelodi Sundowns v Ajax Cape Town, Lucas Moripe Stadium 15:00
Baroka FC v Bloemfontein Celtic, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:00
Golden Arrows v Platinum Stars, Princess Magogo Stadium 15:00
Chippa United v SuperSport United, Sisa Dukashe Stadium 15:00
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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!

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