Citizens’ prodigal son Johannes to return?

JOHANNESBURG – Bidvest Wits defender Robyn Johannes says he’s flattered by the interest from former employers Cape Town City and won’t rule out a return to the club during the ongoing transfer window.

Four seasons ago, Johannes, who’s been a traveller for the better part of his career, heeded the call to return home to Cape Town, joining then new kids on the block City, who had bought the status of now defunct Mpumalanga Black Aces.

Johannes spent two years back in the Mother City, winning the Telkom Knockout trophy in his first season and appointed captain the following term.

However, Wits wooed the former Orlando Pirates defender away from City on a pre-season deal, and life has been bitter-sweet for him.

Last season, Wits coach Gavin Hunt called Johannes their best player, despite the club’s shortcomings in the Premiership.

Three matches into the current campaign, Johannes is yet to feature for the Clever Boys, Hunt preferring Bafana Bafana pair Thulani Hlatshwayo and Buhlebuyeza Mkhwanazi in the heart of defence.

B19AIMN664 - Citizens’ prodigal son Johannes to return?
Last season, Wits coach Gavin Hunt called Robyn Johannes their best player. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Meanwhile, City coach Benni McCarthy has made it clear that he’d love to work with Johannes again, with him filling in the void left by Kwanda Mngonyama.

And Johannes is casting his net wide.

“With coach Benni and everyone else’s wishes, we don’t know who’s capable of wishing for what,” Johannes said. “But in football, I’ve seen funnier things happen.

Him (McCarthy) and Cape Town City are very close to my heart. I’ve got love and respect for the coach, and that will never change. We don’t know what will happen next week, we’ll wait and see.”

However, while Johannes admits that he will let fate take its course, he’s adamant that Citizens chairman John Comitis should go about things the right way if they are keen on his services, as he respects his current union with Wits.

“I don’t think he has to do much persuading (on me); I have a contract with Bidvest Wits so those are the people that they need to persuade,” he said.

“But like I said, they are a club close to my heart, so we’ll see what happens. Anything is possible but my focus is still at Wits. So whatever happens beyond that, I guess we’ll wait and see.”

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However, the future of captain Hlatshwayo could possibly be the deciding factor whether Wits will accept a bid for Johannes should City come knocking.

The Bafana Bafana captain is a target for his childhood club Pirates. Hlatshwayo stoked the fire a fortnight ago, admitting that he’s “keen on a new challenge”, and that’s something the management is well aware of.

Hunt was, however, quick to extinguish the fire, reiterating that his skipper is not for sale.

But with the Clever Boys in financial limbo, it remains to be seen how long they will hang on to “Tyson”, considering that it would make financial sense to sell him and keep Johannes.



The Star

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