The beginning of the 80’s saw the succession of Eddie Lewis by Mike Kenning, who led the Club to a very creditable third place behind Kaizer Chiefs The Clubs next major trophy was won in 1984 when Wits won the BP Top Eight under a new coach, Julie Kaplan. Amazingly, the Club’s fortunes took a dive during the season, and Mike Kenning was recalled to take over the coaching later that year.
1985 saw Mike Kenning take the students to a JPS Knockout Final win against Kaizer Chiefs in a tie that went to three matches. At the end of 1985 came the formation of The National Soccer League after a breakaway from the NPSL. Wits also replaced Mike Kenning with Joe Frickleton as coach, only to see Joe resign later in the 1986 season. He was followed by Terry Paine who took charge for the 1987 season.
Two more products of the Under 19 team, Zoran Ilic and Zane Moosa, excelled in 1987. They were both selected for the squad from which the South African XI was chosen to play against an “Overseas XI”. Zane went on to be named as captain of the Country’s Under 23 team, and Zoran was named the Wits Player of the Year.
In 1988 Terry Paine resigned to take up a post at Coventry, and his place was taken by John Lathan. In the interim most of the honours were being gained by the Under 16, Colts and Intervarsity teams. In 1983 the Under 16′s played in an International tournament in Germany, where they finished third after losing the semi-final on penalties. In 1985 they went to Avignon in France and won an international tournament that featured club teams from most of Europe’s leading countries. The intervarsity team won ten out of eleven consecutive tournaments, and both the Colts and Under 16′s won the league and cup doubles three times in a row.