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Schloss: Our Players Have Pride

Bidvest Wits Chief Operations Officer Jonathan Schloss shared his thoughts with us on the 2015/16 Season.

Q: What are your thoughts on the season?

A: It has been a good season, obviously we would like to have won something but we did not. The positives that have come out are that a lot of young players have come through. That is a big positive for the club because that is one of our objectives; to promote as many young players as possible. We have had some great games, scored a lot of goals but conceded more than we would have liked to. As a club we would have liked to have performed better in cup competitions. I think of our young players like Phakamani Mahlambi, Ben Motshwari, Phumlani Ntshangase, and know that the future looks bright for this club. If you look at our young players who are often selected in the starting XI every week, you mix that with a bit of experience and on most occasions you can see the success of that.

Q: The unity in the team this season has been phenomenal – what do you attribute that to?

A: There is a great team spirit and vibe within the dressing room. They are without a doubt upset that we didn’t do better this season; the players had higher expectations and wanted to win silverware. I would not say the morale is down, but they are a bit upset about the season and so are we. But at the end of the day, the desire to win and the belief in themselves as winners is what drives our players.

Q: How did you feel when you realised the League was not going to be yours this season, and what did you do to keep the players motivated to carry on playing good football?

A: We actually did not motivate them – we did not have to. The players have pride and a will to win. That is what we have tried to instil the entire season. For us it is to perform as well as we can, regardless of the circumstances. That is what we have done and what we will keep on doing.

Q: The Bidvest Wits development structure is extraordinary, with 6 players recently selected for the national U20 squad. The club has regular players in the National Under 23’s and Bafana Bafana. What does this mean to you?

A: We are very proud of our Academy. Credit must go to our youth coaches, and to the work they do with these young men day in and day out. We are not a feeder club for the rest of the PSL, but rather see our Academy as a direct feeder into our first team, and because of that we focus on ensuring we develop players from within. Our objective is to produce as many top class players as possible. For the past 3 or 4 years we have promoted a lot of young players to the first team and they are now playing regularly. In fact I think some of our younger players are keeping the older more experienced players on the bench.

Q: The support from the fans has reached an all time high this season, how do you feel about that?

A: From the entire Bidvest Wits family we would like to say, our fans have been unbelievable this season. The support we have got, the messages, the show at the stadiums – it has been beyond our wildest expectations. We would like to convey our thanks and our gratitude to every single Bidvest Wits fan, and want to say to the White and Blue Army that we intend coming back next season as driven and motivated as ever.