Hunt sheds tears after Wits' victory - Times LIVE
Mon May 29 13:31:11 SAST 2017

Hunt sheds tears after Wits' victory

Marc Strydom | 2017-05-19 07:03:49.0
HAIL THE HERO: Coach Gavin Hunt is tossed aloft after Bidvest Wits grabbed the PSL title by beating Polokwane City 2-0 at Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg on Wednesday night.

"This is the best one," exclaimed Gavin Hunt after winning his fourth league title and first for Bidvest Wits in their 96-year history with Wednesday night's 2-0 Absa Premiership win over Polokwane City.

It is not often you see a tough-as-nails, hard-to-please man like Hunt reduced to tears.

It said much of the effort the coach had put into building Wits into a force in South African football that Hunt could not hold back the tears in his post-match TV interview on an emotional night at Bidvest Stadium.

After three seasons of being nearly-men under Hunt, finishing third, third and second in the league, and with no cup trophies, 2016-2017 has paid back the dividends and then some for Wits with an MTN8 and PSL double.

Hunt put to rest suggestions he had lost his winning edge, joining Ted Dumitru and Gordon Igesund on four championships.

At 52, the ultra-competitive coach is as strong as ever.

"This is the best one. Well, every one is the best one, isn't it?" Hunt said, having recovered his characteristic gruff composure.

"It's just crazy. But to do it with a club of this size and magnitude, I think it's a great achievement.

"Like what I did with Seven Stars - for me that's the greatest achievement in my life. To go unbeaten in 75 games."

Asked about being overlooked for the Bafana Bafana job after Stuart Baxter was appointed this month, Hunt replied with his usual mix of sarcasm and dry humour.

"What do I know about football? I know less and less. Anyway I'm not going to get involved here now. OK, can I go?"

Wits have played an aggressive brand of front-foot, physical, technically proficient football that few teams could deal with in 2016-2017.

It was almost a replica of the Supersport United Hunt guided to successive titles from 2008 to 2010.

Hunt said Wits could have wrapped up the title - going to 60 points, four clear of second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns - on Wednesday, earlier than with a game to spare. "To be fair, we should have won this league earlier. I mean, we've stumbled.

"We should have been well clear. But, you know, we got ourselves back in the race. Any time you make 60 points you've done well."

Hunt has no plans to rest. Success breeds expectation, and Hunt knows Wits will want more.

"What do you expect? They are going to expect an improvement. That's fine if you sign players.

"But we've got what we've got, and we'll battle away.

"As long as we keep the mentality of 'don't get ahead of ourselves', we can achieve."

- TMG Digital/TMG Sport


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