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
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
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."