JOHANNESBURG – Bidvest Wits may be tipped as one of the favourites for the Premiership title this season but coach Gavin Hunt is crossing his fingers they achieve the improbable, having assembled his team on a tight budget.
Known to be one of the few teams that offers players lucrative contracts, the Clever Boys appear to have fallen on tough times, as they cannot afford quality signings. Wits bolstered their squad with 10 signings - Brandon Petersen, Siyanda Zwane, Phathu Nange, Sameehg Doutie, Prince Nxumalo, Zitha Macheke, Carl Lark, Ivan Mahangwahaya, Nigerian defender Kenneth Sebastian and Joseph Douhadji, a Togolese centre back.
However, the majority of those players were signed on pre-contracts and as free agents.
“We can’t buy anybody so we are not going to buy anybody,” said Hunt after their 1-0 loss to Baroka FC at Bidvest Stadium on Tuesday night. “What do you think (I’d do if I had the money)? I’d buy a team, wouldn’t I? I won the league by 20 points (when I had the money).
It’s the South African economy, people are losing jobs. They're cutting back everywhere, but it’s understandable. We are working in tough times and football is an industry that you’d pull back the plug in. We are okay. I don’t know the ins and outs of everything but I know that things have been cut and people have left for financial reasons.”