PSL

Hunt calls for expanded PSL

2011-12-07 13:25
Gavin Hunt (Gallo)
Johannesburg - SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt has suggested several more teams be introduced into the Premier Soccer League campaign in a bid to increase competition amongst the smaller clubs.

The PSL was reduced from 18 to 16 teams after the end of the 2001-02 season to avoid fixture congestion and, as a result, Ria Stars and Free State Stars were disbanded and the two teams were offered R8 million in exchange for opting out.

But Hunt, who took charge of his 500th top flight match when Matsatsantsa lost 3-0 to Orlando Pirates at the weekend, feels there are not enough games in the current domestic calendar.

"I think my feelings on South African football are well documented. We don't play enough football in this country, that's my feeling. I think the league is too small and I recall in my day we had 22 teams in the league," the former Seven Stars, Hellenic, Black Leopards and Moroka Swallows mentor told Football365.co.za.

"But now if you are knocked out early in the cups then you don't play any football and it is a huge disadvantage if you are not playing."

In comparison with the PSL's 30-game season, English Premier League teams play 38 league matches every term, and Hunt believes that fact is causing South African football to lag behind in terms of player development.

Hunt added: "When you have breaks like we have had it is very frustrating and I'm sure all the coaches feel the same. There are also international breaks, so I always feel we don't play enough football in this country."

SuperSport look to be on track to securing a fourth Premiership title in five years after finding themselves top of the standings by three points, marking a stark contrast from their 2010/11 campaign which saw them finish 20 points below eventual winners Pirates.

"If you look through the team, the average age is down (from last season) that's for sure and that's one thing I'm always conscious of. The average age is right and as a coach, you should never let the team get too old and that's what we are trying to do," he said.

"I thought last season we had a bit of a problem with that and certainly this season we have rectified that. We are much better."

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