September 18, 2021

Nedbank Cup: Bidvest Wits register 42-year-old ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns clash

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The former Pirates shots-stoppper is expected to start in goal against the reigning PSL champions

Bidvest Wits head coach Gavin Hunt has provided an update regarding his goalkeeping department.

The Clever Boys are set to take on Mamelodi Sundowns in a highly-anticipated Nedbank Cup semi-final match on Saturday when the 2019/20 domestic season resumes.

The current campaign was halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the season will now be completed in a Biologically Safe Environment (BSE) in Gauteng.

Hunt explained that his two first-choice goalkeepers, Ricardo Goss and Brandon Peterson, are both unavailable for selection ahead of the match at Orlando Stadium.

“Goss is out because he’s still got the five-game suspension. Brandon is out as well‚” Hunt told the media.

Former South Africa under-23 international Goss will serve a five-match suspension for assaulting a match referee Masixole Bambiso in a 2-0 away league defeat to Cape Town City in January.

While Peterson is set to miss the cup match against the reigning PSL champions due to an injury which means Brighton Mhlongo will start in goal for the Clever Boys. 

“Brighton has to play. We have also brought our Multichoice Diski Challenge [reserve team] goalkeeper up‚ who I haven’t seen much of,” Hunt added. 

Wits’ third-choice keeper Mhlongo will get an opportunity to impress having made only one appearance in the league this season.

The former Orlando Pirates shot-stopper will compete with South Africa under-20 keeper Prince Cuwen, who was recently promoted from the Wits reserve team.

Lastly, Hunt also disclosed that they have registered a member of his technical team, Tryon Damons, the Wits goalkeeper coach. 

“Yes, he is registered and may have to do a job for us,” the four-time PSL title-winning coach said.

Damons, 42, is a former Moroka Swallows, Bloemfontein Celtic and Dynamos FC shot-stopper and he retired from professional football in 2013 following a spell with the Clever Boys.

This is not the first time that a member of the Wits technical team has been forced to come out of retirement and be registered.

In 2013, legendary Bafana Bafana shot-stopper Andre Arendse came out of retirement with four Wits goalkeepers all injured.

Arendse, who was 45 at the time, made two league appearances, against AmaZulu FC and University of Pretoria before retiring again.