Coach Gavin Hunt is pleased with how his average Bidvest Wits squad have worked their socks off to keep up with the Premiership leaders.
In a season that was set to be full of trials and tribulations for Hunt and his men, Wits have, so far, not been blown away.
In June/July the club announced that they were enduring financial woes, something that resulted to them signing free agents, while a chunk of the backroom staff had to be retrenched.
Hunt, subsequently, was forced to alter his plans, focus mainly on domestic football, particularly the Absa Premiership, while not giving the CAF Confederation Cup any priority or whatsoever.
But being a serial winner and having an urge to compete against the best, Hunt seemingly didn’t adhere to instructions, guiding his charges to the Confederation Cup group stages, where they are grouped alongside Horoya, Djoliba and Al-Nasr.
But, even with the lowest of budgets and some fringe playing personnel, the Clever Boys haven’t neglected their domestic duties as they are third on the log standings with 27 points after 13 matches, with three matches in hand over log leaders Kaizer Chiefs.
“I can’t ask more from them. If you had said to me: 13 games, 27 points, I would have taken it - especially after what we are going through,” Hunt said.
“They are a committed bunch. We are building a new team. We had a three-four year cycle, where we’ve gone third, third, second and first (on the log). And then down, third again - so we are building. And we have these kids that are coming in, so we work with them and make them better.”
On Tuesday night, the Clever Boys had a chance to further close the gap at the top, but their two-game winning streak came to a halt as they were held to a goalless draw by champions Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
Hunt took this charges’ performance on the chin, especially after bagging a point away from home, while his team was a man down after Buhlebuyeza Mkhwanazi received his marching early in the second half.
“It was 11 versus 11, and the game could have gone anywhere. And when you have a sending-off, that changes the game a little bit. But in saying that, we even had a great chance to score. They were the home team, so it’s understandable,” he said.
“We are disappointed because we wanted three points. But a man down, it was always going to be tough but we stood our ground.”
On Tuesday handed Rowan Human,17, his senior debut.
Human has been on scorching form for the Clever Boys’ juniors in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge, scoring 12 goals in 17 matches.
Add to the fact that he played an integral role as the SA Under-20 team, Amajita, clinched silver in the Cosafa Championships late last year.
“He can tackle, and do everything. I like him and I think that he’s got a big chance (of breaking through in the senior team),” Hunt said.