AFTER their efforts went all up in the air like smoke, Bidvest Wits youngsters were finally recognised by the club.

This season, Wits juniors took the Multichoice Diksi Challenge (MDC) by a storm topping the league for the better half of the season. 

With two games to go, Wits were on the course to win their first-ever MDC title but the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March saw all their efforts go unnoticed as their league was called off.

However, the Wits youngsters who played a sterling role in the teams have been awarded with promotion to the first team.

On Friday Wits announced that they have promoted eight players to increase their tally of players who graduated from the Academy to the first team to 10 this season.

Early in the season Wits promoted Rowan Human and Solly Khunyedi to the first team.

Now ahead of the resumption of the 2019-20 season, Keenan Phillips, Lisakhanya Mlonyeni, Mpho Mathebula, Cuwen Prince, Kabelo Makola, Janovane September, Deon Horn and Malik Mashinini could taste first team football after they were promoted.

“Bidvest Wits have promoted eight players from the club’s reserves ahead of the resumption of the 2019-20 Premier Soccer League season,” the club said.  

“The club’s MultiChoice Diski Challenge team enjoyed a superb campaign and were top of the standings before COVID-19 resulted in the season being called off. 

“Intending to finish the top-flight season on a high and taking the number of fixtures in quick succession into consideration, head coach Gavin Hunt has rewarded eight academy players with a chance at first-team football.

The Clever Boys will return to action for the first time in five months on the 8 August with a Nedbank Cup semifinal clash against Mamelodi Sundowns.

That will be followed by a run of nine Absa Premiership fixtures in 25 days starting away to Kaizer Chiefs at Orlando Stadium on 12 August.