JOHANNESBURG – Following his team’s progression to the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout, Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt is delighted that they’ll be consecutively playing football, at least, until December.
Hunt and his troops missed out of the previous tournament - the MTN8 - after finishing 13th on the Absa Premiership log last campaign. However, they’ve ensured that they redeem themselves with the Telkom Knockout as they beat their bogey side Free State Stars in the opener. That was followed by a 2-1 win against Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday night.
“If you get knocked out of the Telkom Cup, you don’t play football for two months. (However), we have another game now,” Hunt said. “After the Fifa break, there’s been a bit of continuity. The Cup is a greater leveller in South Africa or anywhere else in the world because you’ll get some upsets.”
After finishing fourth on the league and securing their first ever cup final, Maritzburg have had a rocky start this season. They currently sit 14th in the standings with one win, four draws and three losses. They’ve already been knocked out of the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout competitions. However, Hunt has tipped them to find their rhythm in the league.
“You can also get teams that fight and play a little bit free like a Maritzburg (side),” he said. “They’ve struggled in the league and haven’t got the results but they’ll play a little bit freer.”
Wits’ absence from the MTN8 has been an advantage in the league. Currently they sit on top with 20 points after 10 matches with six wins, two draws and losses.
The Clever Boys will now turn their focus back to the Absa Premiership as they face third-placed Bloemfontein Celtic at home on Saturday night. Celtic trail the log leaders by three points after an inspiring start to the campaign despite their boardroom hassles.
Siwelele is bankrupt and as a result, the club has been put up for sale. However, coach Steve Komphela has propelled the team into a real force this season with his tactical nous.