Wits part ways with Habas, with Clive Barker set to take over until the end of the season

Antonio Lopez Habas replaced Roger de Sa as head coach of Bidvest Wits at the beginning of the 2012/2013 season, but his position has only lasted the first half of the campaign as the club have confirmed he will be replaced by Clive Barker, due to “personal and private reasons”.

Habas did not enjoy an extremely successful tenure at the Clever Boys with a record of four wins, seven draws and five losses. The team ended the first half of the season in 9th position on the log and were not playing to the potential they showed under long-time coach Roger de Sa, which has meant there will be questions around whether the coach's five months at the club was ended due to poor performance.

However Wits CEO Jose Ferreira told the club’s official website: “Antonio Lopez has requested that, due to personal and private reasons, he be released from his contract, due to expire at the end of the season.

“We have acceded to his request and we are in the process of finalising the necessary paperwork in this regard. Antonio Lopez has been an exemplary professional and we wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”

The former Valencia coach moved to Wits after a two year stint at Mamelodi Sundowns, where he led the Brazilians to their most successful start to a PSL season. He also cited personal issues as his reason behind leaving the club before returning to Spain in 2011.  

Wits will be managed by the experienced and celebrated Clive Barker until the end of the season, and the former AmaZulu and Bafana Bafana coach will look to help the Clever Boys move up the table and consolidate their campaign. He starts his tenure on Monday and will be assisted by Andre Arendse.