Wits bosses accuse media of ‘driving agenda’ for Hlatshwayo to go to Pirates

Gavin Hunt coach of Bidvest Wits during the Telkom Knockout, Semi Final match between Baroka FC and Bidvest Wits at Peter Mokaba Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Polokwane, South Africa.
Gavin Hunt coach of Bidvest Wits during the Telkom Knockout, Semi Final match between Baroka FC and Bidvest Wits at Peter Mokaba Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Polokwane, South Africa.
Image: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images

Bidvest Wits chief executive Jose Ferreira and head coach Gavin Hunt have come out swinging and hit out at the media for apparently pushing an agenda that seeks to see captain Thulani “Tyson” Hlatshwayo leave the club.

Ferreira sat alongside Hunt at the club’s media briefing at their training base at Sturrock Park in Johannesburg on Friday where the Clever Boys unveiled 10 new signings to bolster the squad for the coming season.

Both uttered the word “disturbing” on numerous occasions when questions were asked about Hlatshwayo.

Ferreira declared that Hlatshwayo “is not going anywhere” despite persistent reports linking the defender with a move to Orlando Pirates.

“It is rumours and it is disturbing. There’s seemingly quite a disturbing media drive around Tyson and we have this every season‚” said a seemingly irritated Ferreira.

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“Where you guys [the media] get that information I don’t know. Maybe it is because you need to write something.

“We have not received an offer from any club for Tyson. So when guys speculate like that around where he is going next we as a club wonder where you guys [the media] get this kind of information.

“One would imagine that it is rumours and it fits the agendas of some portion of the media.”

Ferreira seemed increasingly irritated with each question related to Hlatshwayo.

“Let’s move on from Tyson please this is not about Tyson‚” he said.

Hunt also weighed in on the matter and reiterated that he is not prepared to lose his captain‚ especially not to Wits’ league title-challenging rivals.

Hunt said Hlatshwayo still had a lot to offer the club and gushed over the “maturity” shown by the player since joining from Ajax Cape Town in June 2014.

“Tyson is not going anywhere. I certainly don’t want to lose him. It has been a media drive and I don’t know where it is coming from‚” said Hunt.

“It is disturbing to be honest. But I don’t ‘worry about those kind of things. So there is nothing to it. He will be here [when we play our first match]‚ he is the captain of the team.”

Hlatshwayo and his wife have just welcomed their new baby recently and Hunt said parental duties are the only things occupying his captain’s mind at the moment.

“His mental state is fine. He has got a new baby so he is more worried about the little one at the moment than moving clubs that’s for sure‚” Wits’ coach said.

“He is strong‚ he is okay‚ he is fine‚ you know. I have seen maturity in the boy since he has been here with us and he has been unbelievable.”

Hlatshwayo‚ who is also captain of the national team and led Bafana Bafana with aplomb at the recently-concluded Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt‚ has been linked with Pirates‚ a club he has apparently wished to play for since his formative years growing up in Soweto.

Hunt suggested that if Hlatshwayo were to leave Wits it would not be for a local club.

“I still think there’s a lot of upside for him with us‚” he said.

“If he does go anywhere I think it will be a bigger and better move to somewhere else at a much higher level. But right now he is not going anywhere.”

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