May 10, 2021

Bidvest Wits set to miss ‘locked down’ Pelembe for PSL conclusion – Hunt

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The Clever Boys tactician has confirmed that his key player will miss the remainder of the PSL campaign

Gavin Hunt has lamented the fact that Bidvest Wits will miss experienced winger Elias Pelembe, who is stuck in Mozambique and cannot travel to South Africa because of the lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, for the remainder of the PSL season.

The veteran manager says there is nothing Wits can do but will have to forge ahead and honour the remaining 2019/20 Premier Soccer League fixtures without the Mambas international.

Wits are scheduled to face Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals next Saturday at Orlando Stadium, and Hunt says the 36-year-old is the only squad member who is missing from his camp.

“Pelembe is not back yet. He is in his home country and there’s nothing we can do as a club right now,” Hunt told DailySun. “We will start the season one man short, and he’s the player that I wanted to help us as we continue to lose players.

“He is the only player that is not with the team,” he added. “We do not know when the borders will open so we might not have him for the rest of the season.

“When he comes back he will still need to follow the protocols quarantine and all that.”

Just after the Braamfontein-based club was recently sold to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila, Hunt has urged his players to give their best and forget about the club’s sale.

“Like all other teams we have not had enough training, but we are looking forward to the resumption of the league,” added the four-time PSL winner. “I think we should be fine, we just need to go out there and give our best.

“The players should not let what happened (the sale of the club) creep into their minds, it might affect them.”

For the PSL assignments, the Clever Boys are set to use the iconic FNB Stadium as their home venue and will meet Kaizer Chief after the Ke Yona clash.

Wits occupy the sixth spot on the log table with 38 points out of 21 matches, and will look to finish the campaign on a high.

Meanwhile, Bloemfontein Celtic coach John Maduka and his troops will return to action without defender Ronald Pfumbidzai who is also stuck in his home country, Zimbabwe.