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Wits in Hunt for silverware

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Gavin Hunt would prefer to be chasing the Premiership title with Bidvest Wits right now, but the Nedbank Cup is also worth fighting for, make no mistake about it. Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images

Gavin Hunt would prefer to be chasing the Premiership title with Bidvest Wits right now, but the Nedbank Cup is also worth fighting for, make no mistake about it.

Hunt can never get enough of winning, not many people can. He won four trophies at SuperSport United and when he felt the time was right, he left for Bidvest Wits, who had big investors but needed someone good enough to turn them into a cup and league-winning side. So who better than Hunt to guide them to that success they are searching for?

Less than a year into his reign as Wits coach, Hunt has guided the team into a knockout competition final after his Clever Boys dispatched defending champions Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals on Saturday via a penalty shoot-out. It will be his third straight Nedbank Cup final, having featured in the last two with SuperSport, who won it in 2012 following a win over Tshwane rivals Mamelodi Sundowns.

Unlike Chiefs, who now have very little to play for, Wits have a Nedbank Cup final to look forward to and Hunt says they are chasing their own bit of history in the league as well.

“For me, winning trophies is a success. Not winning anything is no success. It does not matter how many finals you get to. Last year I was in three finals, but that does not mean anything. You have to win trophies.

“I thought we deserved to have our day in the sun,” said Hunt on Saturday. “Because when we threw the league away, you know, with all those draws, we were disappointed.

“Some people might say we will come third (in the league). We have got a chance to make history with the most points the club has ever reached in the league. We want to get to 55 points, and need another two.

“This would be the most points in the history of this club. We’ve got two games left. We wanted to get to 60, which was never going to be enough to win the league. We will do better next season, guaranteed.”

Wits were very good in attack against Chiefs, driven forward by their menacing captain Sibusiso Vilakazi, but they were let down by their defending, forcing the game into extra-time before it had to be decided on penalties.

The Clever Boys won the shoot-out 4-2, after Amakhosi’s Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala failed to convert their spot kicks.

“I thought today (Letladi) Mabubanya was brilliant for us. I thought Kwanda (Mngonyama) was good. You know, we do not have the individual players like they do. But we’ve got a team ethic, there is unity and there is a system. We have to play like that because we do not have the individual players like they do.”

Wits, who won the 2010 Nedbank Cup at FNB Stadium, will face Orlando Pirates in the final on May 17. The Buccaneers beat Maritzburg United 2-1 at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday, thanks to an own goal by Mario Booysen and a stunning strike from midfielder Mpho Makola.

“It’s my first season here, hopefully we can have a good day on the 17th,” Hunt said. - The Star


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