“Keegan Ritchie could not play left-back to save his life‚” Gavin Hunt has said of a Bidvest Wits player who actually has played left-back for most of his adult life.
Hunt has switched Ritchie from left-back to central midfield‚ where the former Moroka Swallows‚ Kaizer Chiefs‚ Bloemfontein Celtic and SuperSport United player has impressed so far partnering Thabang Monare.
Wits’ straight-talking coach Hunt said Ritchie should have been Wits’ man-of-the-match in their 1-0 win against Highlands Park at Bidvest Stadium on Friday night that kept the Clever Boys top of the Absa Premiership.
“He can’t play left-back to save his life.
"So when I get told that I don’t know what I’m doing – ‘What are you doing‚ are all the other coaches wrong?’ I say‚ ‘Well‚ maybe they are. Maybe I’m right’‚” Hunt said.
“He’s been magnificent in midfield. He can’t play left-back to save his life. And that’s maybe why he’s had more clubs than Gary Player.
“But he’s a midfield player. He’s got delivery. He was our best player against Highlands – he should have won man-of-the-match.
“He was calm‚ he passed the ball. Besides the goal he passed the ball‚ he kept the shape well. And he played simple‚ and he was good against Highlands.”
Ritchie has been taken under the wing of ex-Bafana Bafana left-footer‚ and one of Hunt’s Wits assistant-coaches‚ Dillon Sheppard.
“I got Dillon Sheppard at 17 [at Seven Stars in 1997]‚ they said he’s a left-back. I said‚ ‘He’s not a ‘left-back. He’s centre midfielder. When he goes to centre midfield he can pass it‚ or left wing’‚” Hunt said.
“But he couldn’t play left-back‚ Dillon Sheppard – no chance.”
Wits travel to Pietermaritzburg to meet Maritzburg United in their Telkom Knockout quarterfinal at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday night (kickoff 8.15pm).