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Pitso Mosimane 'understands' Gavin Hunt’s decision to take risky Chippa United coaching job

07 July 2021 - 14:25 By Marc Strydom
Pitso Mosimane during a virtual press briefing on Wednesday July 7 2021 in Pretoria.
Pitso Mosimane during a virtual press briefing on Wednesday July 7 2021 in Pretoria.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has said he can understand Gavin Hunt’s decision to take the risky Chippa United head coaching job weeks after ending a torrid period at Kaizer Chiefs.

Four-time league-winning coach Hunt’s decision to take on the job of Chippa‚ a club notoriously impatient with coaches and who generally find themselves bottom-half contenders in the DStv Premiership‚ will have raised eyebrows.

Hunt was fired from his first top-three club position at Chiefs with two matches left in the 2020-21 Premiership season in late May with the club in 11th place.

For the coach who steered SuperSport United to three successive league titles from 2008 to 2010‚ and earned now-defunct Bidvest Wits their first championship in their then 95-year history in 2016-17‚ joining the Chilli Boys was a decidedly unexpected turn in his career.

Mosimane was speaking in a digital press conference with the SA Football Journalists’ Association (Safja) when the news broke.

“In our language we say ‘ijob ijob’ [a job is a job]‚” Mosimane said. “You can’t choose. As long as you are coaching football‚ I agree with Gavin — you must just coach football. But that’s football life — that’s how it is.

“I think he’s one of the most successful coaches in SA football. I’ve had battles with him on the pitch‚ and he’s been a decent guy‚ a very decent guy.

“OK‚ we have had a few jabs there. Whoever fights for the league title with me must know that he’s going to get the mind games a little bit. But he has done very well — he gave Wits a title after 100 years. And he has done well. Look at the trophies he has won.

“He came to Amakhosi — yes‚ it didn’t go well‚ of course. I thought he would be a Bafana coach‚ to be honest with you. I thought he’d be given a chance to coach Bafana.

“But I read a lot of your things [in the press] and people talking and saying that probably his philosophy‚ his way of playing‚ doesn’t suit the way Bafana play. But I don’t know whether we need the way Bafana play or we need to win.

“I don’t know what his philosophy is‚ and I don’t know what [Stuart] Baxter’s philosophy is. If we say Gavin doesn’t have the right philosophy‚ so why did Baxter leave [SA] twice and come for a third time if he didn’t have the right philosophy?

“That’s not for me to comment on, to be honest. I’m speaking about Gavin and no coach has won titles like him.”

Baxter‚ reappointed Chiefs coach for a second stint after Hunt's departure‚ has also coached Bafana twice‚ and left SA football twice.

Mosimane was speaking in a media briefing ahead of Ahly’s Caf Champions League final against Chiefs at Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca‚ Morocco, on Saturday July 17.