New Chippa coach Gavin Hunt: 'People have been coming and going ...'

07 July 2021 - 15:08 By sazi hadebe
Coach Gavin Hunt is feeling chipper even though he's fully aware that coaches are changed regularly at Chippa United, his new employer. He is pictured during press conference at Nelson Mandela Stadium on July 7 2021 in Gqeberha.
Coach Gavin Hunt is feeling chipper even though he's fully aware that coaches are changed regularly at Chippa United, his new employer. He is pictured during press conference at Nelson Mandela Stadium on July 7 2021 in Gqeberha.
Image: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

New Chippa United coach Gavin Hunt says tapping into the talent in the Eastern Cape will be key in building the Gqeberha-based club that appointed him as new head coach on Wednesday.

Hunt‚ who won three league titles with SuperSport United and one with Bidvest Wits‚ was named as Chippa's coach for the 2021-22 season.

The 56-year-old coach signed a two-year contract with club boss Chippa Mpengesi‚ who is known to fire coaches whenever he feels they’re not producing the desired results.

Chippa started last season with Lehlohonolo Seema as head coach but after struggling with results‚ Dan Malesela was appointed — but he too was fired, in December.

Chippa tried to get Belgian Luc Eymael but after failing to land their man‚ Mbuyiselo Sambo was appointed caretaker coach. Vladislav Heric then came on board but he lasted six matches and was fired two matches before the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

Hunt takes over from Seema‚ who steered the team in the promotion/relegation playoffs and was this week named as Lamontville Golden Arrows coach.

“Obviously the chair, Mr Chippa Mpengesi, has been talking to me but people following appointments may see this as a ... I mean, you know the history of Chippa‚ a very (laugh) chequered history.

“People have been coming and going (at Chippa)‚” said Hunt‚ who was fired two matches before the end of the last campaign at Kaizer Chiefs.

“But I saw it as a project and we’ve had a long discussion about things. Obviously the first important thing is to get the team competitive and to be a little bit more stable‚ and to challenge.

“We’ll need to be consistent‚ that’s the most important thing.

“The structures‚ that’s what obviously the chair has spoken about. To put better structures in place and tap into the area because there’s got to be more talent here that we can start bringing into Chippa United.

“People will see this as a ... but I don’t have an ego and people will say ‘you’re going to Chippa’‚ I’m not like that.

“I’m really looking forward to the project and it’s going to take a lot of work and discussion. But if we can put good foundations in‚ but first we need to get the team to be competitive and that’s the most important thing.

“We don’t to want to say we’ll win but we can certainly be competitive. Definitely‚ there’s no two ways about that.

“We want a team that people of this area can been proud of and we need to tap into the market here. I know there’s a huge market. There are players who played for me over the past 20 years who have come from this area. Big players‚ Daine Klate‚ Kermit Erasmus and Ronwen Williams‚ we need to tap into the market.

“The most important thing is to get my feet under the desk and let’s see where we are‚ and what we’ve got and then we can take one step at a time.

“We’re not going to come in here and knock the place down but we certainly need to put in good structures and foundations and then we can get the team right.”

Introducing his new coach‚ Mpengesi emphasised that Hunt would be more a manager than an ordinary coach.

“I welcome our coach‚ in fact he’s not a coach ... he’s a manager‚” said Mpengesi. “Gavin Hunt’s coming here is more than to coach Chippa United. He’s here to establish this organisation and to assist the people of the Eastern Cape.

“I thank him for understanding the vision that we have here.

“He’s not here in vain‚ he’s going to make a difference and we’re going to support him as a team.

“As management we’re going to support you. We want our identity to change this year. This is a season of changing identity‚” concluded Mpengesi.


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