Johannesburg – Current PSL footballer of the season Sibusiso Vilakazi would prefer to win championships rather than individual accolades next season.
“For me winning trophies with the club is the most important thing. I would take being successful as club over personal glory,” Vilakazi said on Friday.
“It's always good to be recognised, but it can be meaningless if there are no titles to show for it.”
The Wits playmaker, emboldened by his team's exploits last season, believed the Students could go one step further in the upcoming campaign.
“We had a solid run last season and we are looking to build on that. I think as a team we can do a lot better this time around and at least have something to show at the finishing line.”
Wits finished third in the Premiership last season with 56 points, nine points adrift of champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
The club also finished runners-up in the Nedbank Cup after they were pipped 3-1 by Orlando Pirates in the final.
Despite their trophyless season, the 24 year-old felt the club deserved better recognition for their stellar showing in the circumstances.
Wits entered the season as a new-look side in its first season under coach Gavin Hunt, who jumped ship from SuperSport United.
“People forget that we were a new team, which had a new identity. We managed do well by finishing top three and getting into a final of a major cup.
“Not many teams can say they have done that. The coach brought his own ideas to the players and we managed to grasp his playing philosophy.”
Wits headed into the new campaign a dismembered bunch, having been hard hit by long-term injuries to key players and players leaving the club.
Calvin Kadi and Papy Faty both suffered serious knee injuries at the end of last season while defence stalwart Matthew Booth retired from football and young defender Kwanda Mngonyama returned to parent-club Sundowns after a loan spell.
Vilakazi's loyalty to the club was one of the few positives Wits would take into the new campaign.
The Wits captain looked certain to play another season for the university side, despite having attracted a flurry of interest from European clubs.
“I am just focused on our pre-season preparations. I am not worried about anything else. We have a huge task ahead of us.”
Wits had made additions in the form of midfielders Vincent Pule from National First Division side African Warriors and Giorgi Nergadze, a free agent from Moroka Swallows.
With the season set to kick off in August, Wits would begin their quest for glory in the MTN8 where they were expected to square off against Bloemfontein Celtic (dates and venues to be confirmed).
Prior to the top-eight competition, the club confirmed their participation alongside Sundowns, Ajax Cape Town and Chippa United in the Cape Town Soccer Challenge from July 25-27 at the Athlone Stadium.
With Wits set to take on a new identity the one thing the club could bank on was the dedication of their best player, Vilakazi, who had shown he was willing to sacrifice personal gain for the good of the team. – Sapa