'Matured' Schillo to help Wits excel

Bidvest Wits head coach Gavin Hunt welcomes new signing Steven Pienaar during the player's unveiling ceremony on Wednesday 5 July 2017. Image: Bidvest Wits FC via Twitter
Bidvest Wits head coach Gavin Hunt welcomes new signing Steven Pienaar during the player's unveiling ceremony on Wednesday 5 July 2017. Image: Bidvest Wits FC via Twitter

Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs has shed some light on what football fans can expect from Steven Pienaar - in the club's colours - in the new season.

Slim Kat and Schillo come a long way together, from their days at Ajax Cape Town from 1999 to 2001.

Pienaar left the club to join Ajax Amsterdam in the Netherlands and has gone on to play in Germany and England, until the 35-year-old's return to join Wits early last month.

Josephs, 37, has noticed that Pienaar's game has matured from his days with the Urban Warriors. "I'm sure a guy like Steven will bring vast amounts of experience and that can only stand us in good stead," Josephs told Sowetan yesterday at the club's training base, Sturrock Park, where the club also unveiled its new kit for the 2017/18 season.

"We played together at Ajax, but that time it was the circus Schillo - the guy who did all the tricks, the skilful Schillo," Josephs reminisced.

"It's a more structured, more matured Steven Pienaar now. It's not like he doesn't have the legs to keep going, but he understands the game a bit more and he doesn't have to do that much running to move the ball around."

How Gavin Hunt convinced Steven Pienaar to join BidVest Wits

Pienaar, meanwhile, has been affected by injuries over the past few seasons and, as a result, he has not been able to play many games.

Breaking into the team won't be an easy task for him considering Wits have lots of quality in the middle of the park.

"I know there are lots of midfielders and I'm going to be their coach," quipped Pienaar. "I'm obviously old now and I can't go down the wing that much. I can play around the whole midfield and wherever the manager wants to play me, I'm happy as long as I'm in the field."

Most of all, Pienaar will be happy to play in front of familiar faces again including his family. "My daughter and my mom are happy. They haven't seen me play in a long time and only did so on TV. The last time my mom [Denise] saw me play was for Bafana Bafana against Ethiopia in Rustenburg [in 2012] and it wasn't one of my best games. So now she's looking forward to it."

Schillo is likely to make his debut in Wits' MTN8 clash against Golden Arrows at Bidvest Stadium next Friday.

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