JOHANNESBURG – Gavin Hunt has murderous intentions.
“I am going to kill whoever made that video once I find him,” the Bidvest Wits coach joked about the now famous video of him dancing in the change-room after the Clever Boys won their first league title in 96 years.
That video went viral and was even aired at the Premier Soccer League (PSL) awards just before Hunt was named Coach of the Season.
It showed just how huge Wits’ achievement was, making a man who hardly gets carried away with his positive emotions let his hair down to celebrate ending an almost a century-long barren run.
Now Wits have to do it all over again, starting with their MTN8 title defence. The Clever Boys host Golden Arrows at Bidvest Stadium in what will be the first competitive match of the 2017/18 season.
“We got ourselves to a certain level by winning things last season, now we need to maintain it and improve,” Hunt said.
“You don’t need to say too much to keep the team at the top. You just need to bring players and create competition. You must bring players who will push those in your starting XI. That will keep raising the bar. There is no secret to it really.”
Wits strengthened their squad with former Bafana captain Steven Pienaar, Daylon Claasen, Kobamelo Kodisang, Bokang Thlone and Montenegran centreback Slavko Damjanovic.
The club’s success in the MTN8 dispelled the myth that Hunt is a marathon man and not a sprinter as he has done better in the league than in knockout competitions.
It’s just that he prefers the longer format, arguing that it’s the real test of endurance instead of winning four games and suddenly you’re a champion.
After facing Abafana Bes’thende, Wits will take on Cape Town City on August 18. That will be an emotional reunion for Hunt, coming up against a team led by Benni McCarthy, to whom he gave his professional debut at Seven Stars.
But there will be no time for sentiment as the Clever Boys’ coach will be focused on retaining the league like he did in his days at SuperSport United after finally giving Matsatsantsa a Pitori their first league title.
“I don’t know if we can defend the league or not,” Hunt said.
“Everybody will certainly be up for the fight. If you look at pre-season, everyone wants it a little bit more. There are five or six clubs that can win the league.
“There’s no doubt about it. It used to be one or two. Now it’s five or six, guaranteed, which means there is more pressure.
“We can’t think about the finish line just yet. We have to focus on a good start. If we think about the finish line, we won’t get there.
“We will try and plot our way through and see how we progress. I don’t get too far ahead of myself. The key to retaining the league is getting your signings right. Hopefully the signings we have made can improve our squad. I know they will do.”
While Hunt will not really kill the person who made that video, because of prison and the small matter of it being illegal, he hopes he can show those dance moves a lot more by bringing success to the Milpark-based club.
And who knows, another one of those videos might pop up again.