S'Busiso Mseleku

Well done, Gavin Hunt!

2016-10-03 15:06
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)

Congratulations are in order for Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt after his side won the 2016 MTN8 Cup.

Not only did the Students atone for finishing second to Mamelodi Sundowns in the league last season, but they totally annihilated the reigning league champions, walloping them 3-0.

This might be the first silverware for Hunt with The Clever Boys, but it’s been long in the coming.

It was not by sheer luck or chance that Wits roped Hunt in from SuperSport United those four years ago. It was because of his credentials that included a few trophies as well as three back-to-back league titles with Matsatsantsa a Pitori.

Hunt has continued the only way he knows, that of signing players who are horses for courses and shying away from big name players.

Every Wits game you watch, it is always obvious that there is a lot of planning that Hunty takes his team through. They kept pressure on Sundowns right up to the last few weeks of the league race last season.

They were only let down by a few lapses during the season, but they were right there with the eventual winners throughout.

One of the happiest people with Saturday’s victory must be Brian Joffe, the business mogul who brought in Hunt.

The club boss must have been wondering when his decision was going to pay off.

Even before they had lifted the trophy, popped the champagne and started celebrating in earnest, one of the presenters had asked Hunt if he was not worried about what had happened to MTN8 winners in the past.

Most clubs who have won this trophy has suffered a serious slump in form that ends up even threatening their league status. The latest were last year’s winners, Ajax Cape Town who surprisingly beat Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in the final but were soon on a scary downward spiral.

They don’t seem to have recovered even now.

Hunt and his charges will do well to alter this pattern as there will be more expectations from their small band of supporters. An automatic upward trajectory will now be to challenge for the league.

And in players such as Dane Klate who was Sundowns’ destroyer on Saturday, the other goal-scorer Eleazar Rogers and the likes of Thulani Hlatshwayo and the suspended goalkeeper, Moneeb Josephs, he has troops capable of mounting a sufficient challenge and even annexing the league title.

It is not going to be easy but if ever there was a man capable of doing it, Gavin Hunt is that man. Why, there are even already calls on Social Media for him to be given the Bafana Bafana hot seat.

And turning to Pitso Mosimane, the defeat might be a blessing in disguise. It could easily work as a wake-up call for his players who were already looking invincible and sometimes looked to be on cruise-control.

Mosimane will have his hands full pepping his charges up for the mammoth task they have in the two-legged CAF Champions League final against Egyptian giants Zamalek on October 14 and October 21.

This has been the target since mining magnate Patrice Motsepe roped him in to guide the club into being one of the best on the continent.

The international week break will give Mosimane sufficient time to work on the players’ psyche.

But for now, it is Gavin Hunt one, the rest nil.

Well done Hunt!

S'Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning over 30 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Read more on:    s’busiso mseleku  |  soccer

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With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

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