Gavin Hunt has introduced success at virtually each membership he has coached. Together with his new gig at Kaizer Chiefs, he might be trying to proceed that development of being a serial winner.
First printed in Each day Maverick 168
When Gavin Hunt was formally introduced as the person to guide Kaizer Chiefs for the following three years, a video of him whereas he was the coach of Black Leopards within the 2001/2002 season emerged on social media.
The video depicts a dusty coaching area in Venda, and Hunt clad in a black T-shirt and black shorts, gesticulating and doling out directions to his gamers. He even goes so far as demonstrating the best approach when taking a shot from a distance.
It’s the sort of ardour and drive that has seen the previous Hellenic proper again rise to be thought to be among the finest coaches ever to be concerned in South African soccer.
Hunt remodeled 300 appearances for Hellenic, earlier than an Achilles tendon damage introduced an finish to his profession in 1994, at simply 30 years outdated. He transitioned into teaching quickly after, teaching Seven Stars after which his former membership, earlier than the transfer to Thohoyandou to take cost of Leopards.
In teaching, the previous Greek Gods defender displayed no proof of getting any Achilles heel, as he gained Coach of the 12 months with Leopards in his sole season with them. He would go on so as to add three extra of these Coach of the 12 months gongs, as he led Supersport United to a hat-trick of league titles between 2008 and 2010.
Earlier than that fruitful stint with Matsatsantsa, Hunt had been on the helm at Moroka Swallows, and although he did have the success he would later take pleasure in at SuperSport, he nonetheless got here away with a chunk of silverware because the staff gained the Nedbank Cup to finish a five-year trophy drought.
Making historical past
Then got here the exceptional feat of main Bidvest Wits to their first league crown within the 2016/2017 season after greater than 904 years in existence.
On the finish of final season, Hunt spoke of that second as one of many highlights of his embellished profession.
“I wish to be remembered most significantly for successful the league [with Wits]. And which you could by no means take away. It had by no means been completed in 96 years, and we did it. That’s one thing that can all the time reside with me,” stated Hunt.
Not solely did he make historical past with that league victory, however he additionally picked up a few knockout trophies, and left an indelible mark on his gamers alongside the best way. As former Wits captain Thulani Hlatshwayo famous throughout a speech on the membership’s inhouse season awards in 2017:
“Each coach has taught me tactical consciousness, technical and the whole lot, however there is just one coach that I would like to present because of: coach Gavin Hunt,” Hlatshwayo stated. “I all the time say I’m a bear off the sphere however I’m a lion on it, as a result of he [Hunt] woke up the beast in me; he confirmed me one thing I by no means thought I had, I’d identical to to say because of him.”
Strain to win
Now the four-time league winner, who can also be the second most embellished coach within the Premier Soccer League (PSL) period, is trying to go away the same path of success at his new membership. Amakhosi are approaching their sixth yr with out a trophy, having final gained silverware below the tutelage of Stuart Baxter in 2015.
And Hunt is conscious of the strain that comes with being on the helm of Amakhosi, contemplating their title as South Africa’s most profitable aspect, and in consequence a staff with some of the demanding assist bases. Nonetheless, in typical Hunt fashion, he is able to sort out the problem.
“Imagine you me, I’m excited, I’m not frightened of it. You already know, some individuals will say typically, ‘he’s frightened of the sort of factor’. I’m not frightened of it; I’m going to face it head on within the good instances and unhealthy instances. The unhealthy instances will educate you greater than the nice instances, however hopefully we’ll have extra good than unhealthy,” stated the 56-year-old in a current membership interview.
Hunt may even deliver the nice instances off the sphere. In recent times visuals of him deejaying and dancing have made it into the general public. However come crunch time, he is aware of to place that each one apart, as Chiefs defender Daniel Cardoso lately highlighted.
“The coach likes to joke, however he additionally makes it very clear what he desires from all of us. He is available in along with his personal philosophy and it’s essential that we, as gamers, purchase into that.
“We have to hit the bottom operating,” stated Cardoso.
Success has adopted Hunt since his early days in teaching, and everybody concerned with Amakhosi might be hoping he brings the identical magic to Naturena in order that they could reclaim their bragging rights. Beginning with the primary piece of silverware on provide, the MTN8. DM/DM168