Hoffman A Perfect Example

7Sep

Bidvest Wits’ 18-year-old goalkeeper Steven Hoffman is a perfect example of how a young player can take his chance with both hands after he was promoted from the club’s Youth Academy at the being of the 2012/13 campaign and has played two first team matches this season.

And now, while playing his trade in his debut PSL season (pressure some players are unable to handle), he continues to study at the Academy where he is confident of acquiring his Matric certificate at the end of this year – then it is onto further studies for him.

Hoffman made his Absa Premiership debut in Wits’ second league game of the season, a 2-2 draw against Black Leopards and then followed that up with a clean sheet against Bloemfontein Celtic a week later when the Students won 2-0.

Speaking after his club’s first win of the season, the young goalkeeper highlighted the importance of the victory and admitted he was ecstatic to keep a clean sheet.

“It was very important (to get the first win against Celtic) because it was important for the players to get confident in each other, being (for the majority of them) their first season playing together.

“It is a big confidence booster. The team is starting to gel well together now and we are keeping our focus.

“I was happy, I was very happy (to keep a clean sheet). I have been working hard in preseason, especially after coming up from the Academy and being the youngster in the team, so it was a very good feeling for me and the players are starting to get confident in me now,”

explained Hoffman.

The fact that it is his first season in the PSL does not seem to faze the young rookie who says the guidance of experienced players like Emile Baron and goalkeeping coach Andre Arendse has made his job a lot easier.

“It has been good hey (my first season), it has been very good. The players have been motivating me, they have given me confidence and advice, especially the older players like Emile and Stiga (Stanton Fredericks).

“It has been a good experience for me so far.

“Andre and Emile have helped me a lot with my technique.

They have a lot of experience under their belts, so they can tell me what they have done in the past and how to improve, especially with Andre playing for the national team for so long it has been good experience-wise,” said the Wits goalkeeper.

Hoffman, who was recently selected to play for the national U20 team to face Botswana, has some big ambitions for his club season as well.

“I am hoping to win the league with the team. But obviously start off by making sure every game is the biggest game because it is very important to win each game if you want to win the league.

“I want to keep as many clean sheets as I can. It is my first season in the PSL and I want to be a regular in the starting XI,” added the 17-year-old.

And Hoffman plans to do all of this while studying for his matric, and once he has achieved that he plans to study further through the University.

“It is not too bad (juggling school and being a professional footballer), it is manageable because we train in the morning, school after that and then in the afternoon I am off. So normally I study in the afternoon and then go to the gym.

“After I get my matric I am looking to study law, possibly at Wits because they will pay for my studies,”

concluded Hoffman.

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