ZIMBABWEAN players at Absa Premiership side Bidvest Wits are fearing for their future following the recent sale of the club’s franchise to National First Division side Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Terrence Dzvukamanja, Farai Madhanhanga and McClive Phiri are all on the books of the Braamfontein-based club.
The sale was a result of Bidvest’s decision to review its sports-related sponsorships, halting a 15-year-long partnership.
Tshakhuma is based in Venda and the club has said that they would not be taking coach Gavin Hunt and some of Wits’ high earners down to Limpopo.
Dzvukamanja, who was one of the regulars at Wits has expressed fears that his future at the club could be in jeopardy when the takeover is complete.
The former Ngezi Platinum Stars attacker is, however, rumoured to be on the radar of some of the country’s top clubs including champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
“It’s something we all did not see coming, but there is nothing we can do now,” said Dzvukamanja about the sale of the club’s top flight status.
“Personally, I was waiting to have my chance at Wits so these changes change everything, I was hoping to achieve with Gavin. I have had little game time this season at the club and was looking to start getting more time so that I can prove myself to the coach who brought me here.”
The 26-year-old joined Wits in 2018 and has made 16 appearances for the club this season, scoring three goals.
“I am going to try hard and work with the new normal at our club though I must admit that it is a challenge itself to know that I will be in a whole new set-up even before I had fully adapted to Wits.
“As a player, I just hope I can maintain my spot at this club and still be able to feed my family and maybe get another opportunity elsewhere.”
While Dzvukamanja could be given a chance at a new club given that he has some matches under his belt, the situation is bleak for his compatriots Madhanhanga and Phiri.
Madhanhanga has not featured for the club this season, while former Highlanders defender Phiri made just one appearance since joining at the start of the season.
Player agent Gibson Mahachi, who facilitated the trio’s move to the club, said he was yet to make a decision on the next step.
“This is an awkward time for the players and managers, but we cannot rush to make any decision now. This also is the time for players to be at their best behaviour both on and off the field of play,” the much-respected agent said.
“This also is the time when character can be a push factor in shaping one’s future. No one can plan for such situations, but the best thing to do is to find a way to navigate the obstacles. The coming of a new coach will obviously come with changes, some players will be shipped out. In fact there will be stiff competition for places, therefore, they (trio) must work hard,” Mahachi said.
Wits are currently sixth on the league standings, but just two points behind third-placed SuperSport United who have played three games more. Nine games remain in the season, and the team, which will finish third, will represent the country in the Caf Confederations Cup next season.
The club also has another chance to play in Africa if they can win the Nedbank Cup. They are in the semi-finals where they will face Sundowns for a ticket to the finals of the country’s premier knockout competition.
The remaining matches in both the league and the cup competitions will offer an opportunity for the Zimbabwean trio to impress and capture the attention of potential suitors.