Gavin Hunt heeds call to mould youth

Recently promoted Solly Khunyedi of Bidvest Wits, right, shone in Tuesday's 0-0 draw against Sundowns. / Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images
Recently promoted Solly Khunyedi of Bidvest Wits, right, shone in Tuesday's 0-0 draw against Sundowns. / Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has heeded the call from the club's chairman to promote more youth players to the senior team.

In an earlier interview with Sowetan, club chairman Alan Fainman said he wanted Wits have a model similar to that of Ajax Amsterdam where majority of the first team players are developed in-house.

"Part of our vision is to have most of our players coming from our ranks. We are one of the clubs in the country that invests a lot of money into youth development. Not only that, but these products must go on to become national team players," Fainman said then.

In the past few weeks, youngsters Rowan Human and Solly Khunyedi (both 19) have been promoted to the first team.

Hunt says he will give more reserve team players a chance (from the Multichoice Diski Challenge) going forward.

"I've got my boys from the Diski team coming. At 16/17 years old, they are old enough to play. So they must play," he said.

"As much as adversity affects us, there is opportunity for other players. You put them on a big stage and give them a shot."

Human and Khunyedi held their own in the recent goalless draw against defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the league.

Hunt conceded that his team was in a rebuilding phase at the moment. "We have a committed bunch. We are building a new team after a four-year cycle, now we are building again."

The university club turn their attentions to the CAF Confederation Cup when they will face Libyan side Al Nasr in Egypt on Sunday.

"We play on Sunday and come back on Monday. Then we face Celtic on Wednesday. I don't know how we are going to do it," he said.

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