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Jose Ferreira defends against SAFA criticism, ready to release Reeve Frosler

Posted: 18 May 2017 Time: 13:45

Bidvest Wits CEO Jose Ferreira has confirmed that the club are now ready to release defender Reeve Frosler for the FIFA under-20 World Cup.

Wits drew hefty criticism from the South African Football Association, who launched a scathing attack at the club for refusing to release the teenager as well as winger Phakamani Mahlambi for Amajita duty earlier this month.

The national under-20 side are currently in South Korea for the world showpiece which kicks off on Saturday, before Thabo Senong's troops get their campaign underway against Japan on Sunday.

Frosler has been nothinhg short of a revelation since replacing the injured Nazeer Allie at the start of March, featuring the full 90 minutes in all of Wits' last 11 league games, thus waranting Gavin Hunt's reluctance to lose a key component of his squad at a crucial stage of the season.

But with the Clever Boys having secured their maiden Absa Premiership title after a spirited 2-0 victory over Polokwane City on Wednesday evening, Hunt himself conceded to losing his teenage full-back for their final game against Kaizer Chiefs next weekend.

"I don't know who's going to play right-back but we'll find a goalkeeper to play right-back, but we'll send him, sure, why not," said Hunt. "We'll find somebody to play right-back."

Ferreira added that Frosler is now free to leave, while confirming that Mahlambi will remain and focus on recovering from a hamstring injury.

"I can tell you that going back to the under-20 World Cup, I gave my assurances to SAFA right from the beginning that of course we always wanted our players playing in the FIFA World Cup," said Ferreira.

"What person in their right mind, or what club in their right mind, is not going to allow their players to play in that platform? That was always our wish that they would play at that level, but at the same time we have to look after our own interest.

"This isn't a club that has won things in the past, and I mean specifically the league titles. It was a unique opportunity for Bidvest Wits to win it for the first time.

"My assurance was given at the time to SAFA, that once we won the league or were out of the reckoning, we would give our players – Phakamani Mahlambi, Reeve Frosler, alonsgide the two that we've already released, and I can assure you that tomorrow [Thursday] Reeve Frosler will be released immediately to SAFA. 

"Phakamani won't be going, but he would also be going but for the fact that he's injured and is out for six weeks. So I will contact SAFA, if not tonight, first thing tomorrow morning and I'm hoping that Frosler can catch the first flight out and join his teammates at the under-20 World Cup."

Article by: Chad Klate
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