Kaizer Chiefs coach will be gunning for silverware this season but he will have to get past first in their Telkom Knockout semi-final first. Photo: BackpagePix
Kaizer Chiefs coach will be gunning for silverware this season but he will have to get past first in their Telkom Knockout semi-final first. Photo: BackpagePix
Gavin Hunt will be keen to get a step closer to some silverware this season as they have had the ideal league campaign so far. Photo: BackpagePix
Gavin Hunt will be keen to get a step closer to some silverware this season as they have had the ideal league campaign so far. Photo: BackpagePix

The semi-final clash between Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs should be an epic encounter. There are so many reasons why this encounter is set to be a titanic battle.

Wits boss Gavin Hunt is a serial-winner, having captured four league titles (three with SuperSport United and one with Bidvest Wits), as well as the Absa Cup and Nedbank Cup crowns, but there’s one cup that has eluded him, and that is the Telkom Knockout.

Hunt has yet to deliver the TKO cup during career - and hasn't ever made the final - and beating Chiefs will put him closer to breaking his duck in the cup competition.

There’s no better time than this, but it is not going to be elementary against the most successful team in this tournament, which is the equivalent of England's League Cup. Amakhosi have lifted 13 TKO crowns. Wits on other side has only won the trophy twice.

They triumphed in 1985 (when it was called the JPS Knockout) and 1995 (Coca-Cola Cup). Can Hunt do it again? Last season he delivered a maiden league title which was Wit’s first in their 96 years of existence.

Wits were the runners-up in 2011, succumbing to Orlando Pirates at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Hunt has a mammoth task in front of him, but has shown an ability to change bad fortunes.

Gavin Hunt will be keen to get a step closer to some silverware this season as they have had the ideal league campaign so far. Photo: BackpagePix


His opponents are also under immense pressure to reach the final, as they haven’t won it in seven years. The last time they lifted the trophy was back in 2010 when they thumped Pirates 3-0 at FNB Stadium.

Chiefs coach Steve Komphela is also searching for a first trophy in his coaching career. Back in 2004 he guided Manning Rangers in to the final of the ABSA Cup but came out second best against Gavin Hunt's Moroka Swallows.

In his first season with Amakhosi he reached two cup finals but lost both of them. His side went down 1-0 to Ajax Cape Town in the final of the MTN 8 and were beaten by Mamelodi Sundowns in the final of the TKO.

Komphela is in his last season of his contract with Chiefs, and the "Glamour Boys" are yet to win a cup under his leadership. Amakhosi last tasted success in 2014/15 when they lifted the MTN 8 and Absa Premiership under the guidance of now-Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter.

Chiefs were eliminated in the first round of the MTN 8, so it is now or never for Komphela - but he has to first get past Wits before facing the winner of the Polokwane v Bloemfontein Celtic clash.

Pretoria News

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