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Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt says Bafana Bafana call-up Siyabonga Nhlapo wasn't good enough as a midfielder

Posted: 19 December 2014 Time: 11:28

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt says he converted Bafana Bafana call-up Siyabonga Nhlapo into a right-back after deeming him “not good enough” as a midfielder.

Hunt was himself a right-back during his playing days at Cape Town side Hellenic, and revealed that he changed Nhlapo from his natural midfield position into a defender.

"When Siya (Siyabonga Nhlapho) came here he was a midfielder, and I said to him, ‘You can't play as a midfielder in South Africa’," Hunt said.

“He asked ‘Why?’ and I told him, ‘Siya, you are not good enough to play as a midfielder in South Africa’. He asked me where he should play, and I told him that he should play as a right back.”

Nhlapo’s impressive displays on the right side of the Wits’ defense has seen him earn a call-up into Shakes Mashaba’s preliminary Bafana Bafana squad that will do battle at the African Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea next month – something he may have his club coach to thank for.

“I promised him that I will make him a good right back that will even play for Bafana Bafana,” Hunt said.

“So what happened? You know what happened."

Wits take on the University of Pretoria on Sunday in their final League encounter this year.


Is Siyabonga Nhlapo in your KICKOFF Fantasy League team? Remember to make your Fantasy League changes for the final Gameweek of 2014, which closes on Saturday at 2pm.


Livefyre comments on this story...

posted: 2014-12-19 09:41:50

If that is the case, coach Hunt did a great job. This boy is a marvel, has a lot of energy and works hard.

posted: 2014-12-19 09:50:04

Smartest coach in PSL Hunt. 

posted: 2014-12-19 09:50:33

Which I think Baxter can do same thing with Kingston he can be a good holding midfield

shlalo wezihlalo
posted: 2014-12-19 09:59:25

Can someone with lots of brains tell me, what does GH mean when he says in South Africa?, he has just lost me there, useshilo ke ushlalo wezihlalo

posted: 2014-12-19 10:11:00

@Sihlalo,it does not mean i have lots of brain but what he is explaining is that it requires a very skillfull player to be a good midfielder in SA,you have to have certain qualities of which Siya Nhlapo could n't provide for the coach then and of which i might agree with the coach.Best midfielders are multi dimensional in football approach,skills off and on the ball as well as game winners but not only ball winners. 

deleted_21046280_chief inspector
posted: 2014-12-19 10:26:34


And i will make you a ball boy in my team!

posted: 2014-12-19 10:56:55

He simply says that looking at the south african style of play

posted: 2014-12-19 10:59:03

Lol his passing is not good n he might cz the teams with commitng lot of fouls

The Futbol Informant
posted: 2014-12-19 11:29:09

shlalo wezihlalo With the type and pool of South African midfielders,this Nhlapo is average and he cant compete there cause he will forever lag behind.

posted: 2014-12-19 12:35:48

Ok I don't think the choice words used here encourages; I think the boy is strong to take a positive out of this statement; I would have loved if the statement was saying the boy has more qualities of a defender Hunt being a former defender himself.  It was going to serve as a motivation and sense of belong for future prospects as a defender at Wits.  Just imagine your boss say you not good enough to work for your department and suddenly you are moved other department? I think it could be better your boss identifying qualities and suggest you move due to visible qualities for prospective department; you will feel you will go add more value there but if you are deployed because your dpt just said you not good enough??!?? Eish

khosi koi
posted: 2014-12-19 13:10:57

This what VV did with Lucky Baloyi. The boy was a defender, but VV took him to the middle of the field. Big VV for that

shlalo wezihlalo
posted: 2014-12-19 13:20:50

Got it, thanx nja yami, useshilo ke ushlalo wezihlalo

shlalo wezihlalo
posted: 2014-12-19 13:21:07

Aweeee!! Useshilo ke ushlalo wezihlalo

shlalo wezihlalo
posted: 2014-12-19 13:22:20

Awuzweke!! Now i'm on the same page, thanx, useshilo ke ushlalo wezihlalo

Durban Khosi
posted: 2014-12-19 13:29:36

Its not uncommon for CDMs to play as defenders and defenders move to CDMs, happens all over the world, e.g. Mascherano, Lahm, etc

Bukenya is another in SA, plays as CB and CDM.

posted: 2014-12-19 16:08:49

But U can not U not Good enough to a player, that is why he came to Wits

posted: 2014-12-19 16:23:03

I agree with Hunt

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