Hunt making the most ’unique’ situation at Wits
JOHANNESBURG - In a successful coaching career that has spanned over two decades, Gavin Hunt hasn’t been here before: witnessing his club being sold while he’s still at the helm.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that is devastating the nation, it appears the turbulence doubled for Bidvest Wits as they had to sell their PSL status due to financial challenges to the Black Gold Family Trust, where they will be renameed Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.
The sale meant there’d be job losses at the end of the season as the new team will be relocated to Limpopo.
The new management granted players who wanted to leave an opportunity to consider their options and most have abandoned ship.
However, Hunt was also part of the unfortunate lot who were told their services would not be needed due to their hefty price tags.
“It’s very unique,” Hunt said.
“I’ve been in football since 1981 in South Africa and I have never missed a year, so this is quite unique for me. I’ve been in clubs that have been sold after I left but not like this. I don’t think I’ve been to so many meetings. We have a meeting to have a meeting.”
Hunt continued: “I’m trying to be as calm as much as I can be. We want to be a team where everyone is working together, but everyone is looking out for their own situation. It’s not very nice but let’s play football and when the ball moves, hopefully everything will be forgotten for that 90-and-a-half minutes.”
A former footballer himself, Hunt has engraved himself as one of the best local coaches in the National Soccer League since earning his first gig at Hellenic FC in 1998. Part and parcel of his philosophy has been turning raw potential into renowned footballers.
His appetite to win has won him with four league titles, the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout in the last 13 years between his spells at SuperSport United and Wits.
And understandably so, Hunt is hoping to get another gig sooner rather than later.
“I need to keep my feet on the grass. I like to train every day. I don’t want anyone to tell me to wait and sit around. I need to get working again,” he said.
But while he crosses fingers and hopes that his phone rings at the end of the season, Hunt’s mind now “is on Saturday’s game and games going forward”, as the team look to wrap up their 99-year chapter with some silverware.
Wits face Mamelodi Sundowns in the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup at Orlando Stadium tomorrow, while they still have a slim shot at the Premiership title.