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South Africa’s Gavin Hunt condemns Telkom KO final venue – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

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South Africa's Gavin Hunt condemns Telkom KO final venue

Head Coach Gavin Hunt of Bidvest Wits during 2017 Telkom Knockout Bidvest Wits Training at Stir rock Park in Braamfontein South Africa on 28 November 2017 © Aubrey Kgakatsi /BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 29, 2017. 19:30


Ahead of the South African Telkom Knockout final against Bloemfontein Celtic, Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has lambasted the quality of the pitch at Princess Magogo Stadium.

The Clever Boys mentor believes the pitch is not in tip top quality, but hopes the weather will be suitable for a good game of football.

Hunt revealed that they sent a team representatives to inspect the pitch at the KwaMashu Stadium this week.

“Shew‚ shew‚ shew. Listen‚ it is what it is. We’ve got to concentrate on the rules and play football,” said the coach.

“But it is a bit‚ it is a bit…you know. It threw everybody a curve ball‚ didn’t it? It was like‚ ‘Yuh‚ OK’.

“The pitch has been dug up last week because there were teams training on it in the rain. So the pitch is not great.

“We saw it, we went there yesterday to have a look at it – it’s an open area. So please God the weather is good.”

The 12000-seater venue will host a major cup final for the first time on Saturday at 18:00 (CAT).

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Gavin Hunt relieved to have first-choice defence back

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Gavin Hunt relieved to have first-choice defence back

Gavin Hunt, coach of Bidvest Wits instructs his players during the 2014 Telkom Knockout Bidvest Wits Media Day at Sturrock Park on the 30 September 2014

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 18:30


Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has expressed his relief at having his first-choice defence back ahead of this weekend’s Telkom Knockout final.

The Clever Boys have endured a terrible Absa Premiership campaign thus far, claiming just nine points from 11 matches to sit at the bottom of the log.

Yet the reassembly of the back four of Buhle Mkhwanazi, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Nazeer Allie and Sifiso Hlanti – who played together for the first time this season in a goalless draw at Maritzburg United this past weekend – has given Hunt a glimmer of hope.

The foursome are expected to be picked in Wits’ XI when they face Bloemfontein Celtic in the final of the Telkom Knockout on Saturday evening.

“This is the first time… this season… that I had my defence back. Nobody else in this whole league has gone through what I have gone through,” said Hunt in the wake of the stalemate, as quoted by Kick-Off.

“Nazeer Allie played his first game [since playing against Baroka in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals on November 4]. ‘Tyson’ Hlatshwayo played his first game [since November 4]. Buhle has been out for six months. So we had our defence back that won us the league last season.

“What happens? Clean sheet, hallelujah, simple. So I’ve been hammered, I have taken an absolute hammering, and rightly so, but the guys who came in have been good.

“But once we get our defence back, which we got them back today, we look much better. Now we got a platform to play, you understand what I’m saying.

“Why five changes in this game? Well, we were playing six at the back the last game [against Mamelodi Sundowns last week Tuesday] and now we got four players, which will help us on how we play normally. The rest of the team takes shape off what you got.”

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Gavin Hunt praises Pitso Mosimane ahead of Wits-Sundowns showdown – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

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Gavin Hunt praises Pitso Mosimane ahead of Wits-Sundowns showdown

Gavin Hunt, coach of Bidvest Wits ©Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 14:00


Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has praised Mamelodi Sundowns counterpart Pitso Mosimane ahead of tonight’s Absa Premiership showdown between the teams.

The Clever Boys will host the Brazilians for the pick of three league clashes tonight. Wits come into the game having eliminated Kaizer Chiefs from the Telkom Knockout this past weekend, while Sundowns have had an extended period to prepare.

Hunt admits that he would have preferred points on the board rather than a strong cup run, following his team’s poor start to the defence of their league title, but reckons winning games is a good sign regardless.

“As I’ve said, [from] all these cup games you’d want to have league points, wouldn’t you? It will help us, but football is what it is and hopefully we can just get a little bit [of points] this week and have a smile about the place,” said Hunt.

“We know the task on Tuesday, against a very good side – a good squad of players. Pitso has done well there. We know what we’re up against and we’re just going to have to battle through this period with what we’ve got.”

The Wits coach also believes it’s a tough period for his side, who played Chiefs last Saturday, face Sundowns tonight and will then travel to the KwaZulu-Natal for a third game within a week when they take on Maritzburg United.

“Obviously the problem is you’re playing against Sundowns on Tuesday and we played [on Saturday] – that makes a big difference,” he explained.

“By the time you play your third game in a week, that team has only played their second game and, with our squad the way it is – with nothing coming back [from injury], it’s a problem.”

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Gavin Hunt’s job at PSL champions is not in jeopardy

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Gavin Hunt's job at PSL champions is not in jeopardy

Gavin Hunt, coach of Bidvest Wits

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Oct 18, 2017. 17:00

Despite their poor start to the 2017/18 South African Premier Soccer League season, Bidvest Wits CEO, Jose Ferreira, has assured coach Gavin Hunt that his job is safe.

The Braamfontein-based side failed to defend their MTN8 title and are now sitting at the bottom of the Absa Premiership log table.

Having bagged only one win, four losses and two draws so far out of seven matches, the Students are enduring a terrible spell of form as they try to defend their league title.

Ferreira, though, says they do not react to temporary setbacks at the club and that Hunt is going no where.

“We don’t do things like that at the club. We don’t react to temporary bad form. Gavin has just won us the league for the first time in the club’s history. He also won the MTN8,” Ferreira said to IOL.

“We are not even talking about firing the coach. Gavin still has many years with us. We will only consider offers for Gavin if he is wanted by Bafana Bafana.

“At the moment they still have a coach who is good for the country in Stuart Baxter.”

The Clever Boys will visit Baroka FC on Sunday in the league and will hope to claim their second win at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

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Gavin Hunt: Time for our big players to step up – MTN8 2017

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by
Graeme Jackson

Saturday Sep 09, 2017. 14:00


Bidvest Wits’ ‘big players’ must step up for today’s MTN8 semifinal, second leg clash against Cape Town City, according to coach Gavin Hunt.

Wits, the reigning MTN8 champs, are looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit after losing the first leg in Cape Town last month.

The Clever Boys, who also won the Absa Premiership title last season, have had a tough start to the 2017/18 campaign, with teams looking to claim their scalp.

“Any game we play teams will want to [try and outplay us]… I mean, we played Golden Arrows and they were unbelievable, Free State Stars were like men possessed,” Hunt said at the club’s media day earlier in the week.

“That’s what we’re going to get. When you play against a team that has won the league, people will have extra motivation.

“But once we start settling in, and we start playing two to three games a week, I think we’ll see a lot of things happening. Then teams can’t keep that intensity up every game.”

Hunt added that he welcomes the new demands on his team and hopes to see a response from them, starting with today’s match.

“There’s definitely [added pressure on us], it’s always like that and so it should be. You want that pressure, don’t you? We want that,” he added.

“We’ve got big players who can handle the situation, it’s a matter of the big players stepping up a little more and that’s pretty much what it’s about.”

The Wits v City match at Bidvest Stadium will kick-off at 15h00 CAT.

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