Absa Premiership

Hunt sings Mahlambi's praises

2016-12-19 12:09
Phakamani Mahlambi (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt hailed Phakamani Mahlambi's performance, following his man-of-the-match display in the 3-1 victory again Free State Stars.

A Mahlambi brace helped the Clever Boys end their barren spell of five games without victory and move to second spot in the table.

Hunt reserved special praise for the 19-year-old, who made his first competitive start since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in February.

"Nine months ago he couldn’t even straighten his legs," Hunt told The Star.

"He couldn’t walk. To see where the boy is today, it’s phenomenal. What the doctor did was unbelievable.

"I just hope that we can keep him on the pitch. I took a big chance by starting him. I thought, you’re playing at home so do it. Play him wide and protect him.

"I did the same thing with Benni (McCarthy) at 17 - playing him wide, protecting him more and giving him game time so that he gets the hang of it. That’s the way to go. He (Phakamani) is exceptional. He is the future of South African football."

The former SuperSport United mentor also revealed his role in getting the best out of Mahlambi from the wing. 

"The key to getting him to play without fear was about telling him that if the full-back is tight, play it simple," he added.

"If the full-back is off, then you can do what you want. I said to him don’t get involved in stupid things. Your back is to the line, you can see what’s coming on your left and right.

"Phakamani and James Keene, that’s the combination."

Read more on:    wits  |  free state stars  |  psl  |  soccer
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