Amr Gamal expected to bring ‘winning mentality’ to Bidvest Wits
The 26-year-old striker, who is on the verge of joining Bidvest Wits on a season-long loan deal from Cairo giants Al Ahly, will become the first Egyptian to play for a South African club.
Clyde Tlou, an assistant football editor at SuperSport.com, spoke to KingFut about Bidvest’s position in the Premier Soccer League, their success story and strengths ahead of Gamal’s imminent move to the South African side.
“Bidvest is one of the emerging superpowers in SA football bankrolled by Joffe. They have a thriving academy that has produced some quality players who have gone on to represent the country at the junior and senior level,” Clyde Tlou told KingFut.
Billionaire businessman Brian Joffe bought a large stake in the club in 2006. The 70-year-old billionaire pumped in money to help The Students compete for the league title, and had to wait 12 years before they made a historic achievement by clinching their first Premier League trophy since the formation of the club in 1921.
“The financial power that Joffe brought through his company Bidvest that also sponsored Sunderland in Premier League has made the club competitive as they can now afford to pay good salaries which in turn attract top players,” he added.
Bidvest won their league title under the leadership of Gavin Hunt, who was appointed as head coach in 2013. The former SuperSport United coach managed to put together a strong squad that made Bidvest emerge as real league contenders.
“Gavin Hunt is a top coach, he builds a team over a number of years that go on to achieve sustained success over years. I won’t be surprised if he retains the league for the next two seasons.
“His recruitment policy is smart, he gets the free agents who are top quality and if he sells his best player he always gets money and an additional player who looked finished then just revives him into a hit.”
Hunt likes strikers who are “tall and bulky” in order to “hold the balls for his nippy quick midfielders”. Tlou believes the South African coach was specifically interested in signing a player from the record eight-time African champions Al Ahly, as he hoped he would transfer his winning mentality to the current crop of Bidvest players.
“After winning the league last season he spoke about making a statement in the continent. I think that’s one of the reasons he brought in a player from Al Ahly, someone who has been part of continental competing and success to rub it off to the rest of the squad members.”
— KingFut.com (@King_Fut) August 17, 2017
Gamal was promoted from Al Ahly youth team in 2013 and he went on to make over 100 appearances for the club, scoring 29 goals. He helped the Red Devils lift three Premier League titles, two Egyptian Super Cups, one Egypt Cup, the 2013 African Champions League, the CAF Confederation Cup in 2014 as well as two CAF Super Cups in 2013 and 2014.
“When Wits fell short off the title he brought in Daine Klate, the man who was part of Gavin’s treble winning team at SuperSport United. Klate brought that winners mentality which in turn inspired Wits to champions and Amr is no doubt brought in for the same role,” he added.
Gamal made 24 appearances across all competitions last season, scoring seven goals, however, he impressed for the Red Castle against the South African side when they met last March in the CAF Champions League. He most recently helped Al Ahly claim the Egypt Cup title after levelling the scoreline for the Red Devils 10 minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Egypt coach Hector Cuper has recently called up the Egypt international striker for the Pharaohs’ upcoming encounters against Uganda in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
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