Thandanani Ntshumayelo and Gavin Hunt coach of Bidvest Wits during a training session at Sturrock Park , Johannesburg. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Gavin Hunt will be out to defend the nations’s pride in the weekend when the Telkom Knockout resumes.

Wits were pitted against Baroka FC in the semi finals while Kaizer Chiefs will battle it out with their arch-rivals, Orlando Pirates, in Durban.

Hunt is the only South African born coach left in the tournament, and this is his third away fixture in a row, after wins over Free State Stars and Maritzburg United in previous rounds

The incumbent Wits coach is up against the Zambian, Wedson Nyirenda in the last four of the competition with the sides locking horns on Sunday at 3pm at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Limpopo.

South African coaches have dominated the competition for the past six years, with Eric Tinkler, Pitso “Jingles” Mosimane, Gordon Igesund, Clinton Larsen and Allan Freese all having lifted the trophy.

Juilo Leal was the last foreign coach to win the TKO - the Brazilian triumphed with Orlando Pirates in 2011.

Wits head coach Gavin Hunt during the Telkom Knockout quarter-final against Maritzburg United in Pietermaritzburg earlier this month.  Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Wits head coach Gavin Hunt during the Telkom Knockout quarter-final against Maritzburg United in Pietermaritzburg earlier this month. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Hunt will be hoping to make it back-to-back titles in the tournament having won last year against Bloemfontein Celtic.

Baroka, however, are no push-overs, and already surprised a lot of people in this year’s edition of the TKO by beating Golden arrows in the opening round, and then overcoming Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 in the quarterfinals.

If Hunts prevails in to the final he will face either Italy's Giovanni Solinas of Chiefs or Serb Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic of Pirates.

Amakhosi and the Buccaneers will face each other on Saturday in Durban.

The final will be contested on December 8 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

So, Hunt is not only chasing the record of becoming the first South African coach to win back-to-back TKO’s but he is going out to defend the nation’s pride.

@Minenhlecr7


The Mercury

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