Hunt to prioritise CAF qualification ahead of 2023/2024 season run-in

GAVIN Hunt, head coach of SuperSport United, will be prioritising CAF qualification in the remaining matches of the 2023/2024 season. | BackpagePix

GAVIN Hunt, head coach of SuperSport United, will be prioritising CAF qualification in the remaining matches of the 2023/2024 season. | BackpagePix

Published Mar 23, 2024


SUPERSPORT United head coach Gavin Hunt has placed qualification for continental club competition at the top of the list ahead of the 2023/2024 season run-in.

Matsatsantsa headed into their last international break of the football calendar in enthusiastic fashion as they booked their place in the last eight of the 2024 Nedbank Cup.

The Tshwane-based outfit also occupies the third spot on the DStv Premiership standings and is level on points (33) with second-placed Orlando Pirates, who occupy the first of two spots guaranteeing CAF Competition next season.

Having crashed out of this campaign’s CAF Confederation Cup in the group stages with just four points in six matches, Hunt has set his sights on ensuring his youthful squad returns to either the CAF Champions League or the Confederation Cup.

SuperSport can do that by either winning the Nedbank Cup, or realistically finishing second or third on the log standings.

When quizzed about the club’s ambitions for the rest of the season with the league seemingly wrapped up, Hunt placed huge emphasis on continental competition.

“I think qualifying for CAF again because right now we still have two avenues in qualifying for the competitions,” he responded

“Again, qualifying for CAF will be a great achievement but we will take it one game at a time. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket and say we’re going to go this route because you will end up winning nothing. Let’s just try and concentrate because we’ve got three league games before the Stellenbosch FC game.”

SuperSport were drawn against high-flying Stellenbosch FC in the quarter-finals of the Nedbank Cup, one of the most difficult sides to face in cup competition this season.

The two teams have already played out to a 1-1 draw in the league this season, which is a signal of the small margins between the two sides.

Hunt and SuperSport, who won this competition three times between 2012 and 2017, believe Stellies will be a daunting challenge but perhaps the right challenge given their performance against “lesser” opposition last season.

“We had Cape Town City who are a top three side, and we played Richards Bay away who are fighting for their lives. So now we have Stellenbosch away and it won’t be easy.”

He further added: “We had an easy draw last year and we stuffed that up. Maybe a hard draw is good for us, but we have a couple of games before then. We play about three or four games so we will worry when we get there, but it will be a tough game for both sides.”

The veteran mentor will need to be at his best consistently as he looks to guide a fairly inexperienced group through a tough period of the season.

The 59-year-old will look to control the temperament of rising stars Shandre Campbell and Ime Okon, who have become important figures in his team this season.

Matsatsantsa will return to action with a trip to Golden Arrows in two weeks.