Newly appointed Kaizer Chiefs coach, Gavin Hunt, aims to start his reign as Amakhosi coach on a high in the MTN 8 tournament. Hunt will make his coaching debut at the Soweto glamour club against hoodoo team, Maritzburg United.
MTN8 cup kick starts the 2020/2021 PSL season:
In their three meetings last season, Chiefs failed to beat United, losing twice and playing to a draw against the KwaZulu-Natal based side.
The failure to win the league title last season after being at the top of the log for most the season is still fresh in the minds of everyone at Chiefs. Amakhosi have not won any silverware in five years and the 53-year-old Hunt was brought in September to turn things around at the club.
The former Bidvest Wits coach comes with a good track record and he will want to start well against a side that knocked out Amakhosi in the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout last season.
“They’ve got an excellent record against Kaizer Chiefs, Maritzburg, so I’m sure they are coming here much more settled. Their coach has obviously been there for some time, Eric (Tinkler), they’ve got a settled team you know; much more settled in terms of that aspect. I’ve come in, obviously, I’ve been doing this in South Africa knowing that the first game is always a Top 8 game for 30 years, maybe longer, so I know these knock-out games. It leads itself, it gives you another chance to play more games. Two-legged semi-final so the first game is the most important game.”
Maritzburg also dented Chiefs’ hopes of winning the Premiership title when they beat them on the road in February, after playing to a 1-1 draw in the first round.
Chiefs defender Daniel Cardoso says Maritzburg always gives them a tough task, but he’s got confidence in the coach.
“You know Maritzburg they are always our hoodoo team; they always give us a tough task, but I think Gavin has come in. He’s done well in the past two and a half weeks we’ve been working with him. You can see the players are happy, they are putting in a shift and I haven’t seen smiles on players’ faces for quite some time; which is very good to see now.”
All eyes will be on new kids on the block, Tshakuma Tsha Mazhivandila, as they make their debut in South Africa’s topflight football this weekend. They will host defending champions SuperSport United at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday.
TTM gained promotion after buying the status of Bidvest Wits in June.
The club was forced to raid the transfer market after many of the former Wits players opted not to relocate to Venda.
Club owner Masala Mulaudzi says the players know what they want.
“They know what we want, they are in the game to compete. You can’t go to run a race or a marathon to be number last. Obviously, you would like to be on top. It will also depend on the strength that we have.”
TTM has acquired the services of former Orlando Pirates forwards Augustine Mulenga and Justin Shonga, as well as former Chiefs striker Gustavo Paez.
Club coach Joel Masutha says TTM is a very ambitious club.
“It’s an ambitious club so obviously it’s a challenge for everybody, including myself, but I feel the right qualities to lead the team. And the issue of mandate; also there’s no mandate given, but the fact is obviously a lot of money has been spent to acquire the status.”
Cape Town City aims to maintain form
Meanwhile, Cape Town City will want to maintain the form they showed during the bio-bubble in Gauteng when they visit Pirates in Soweto. City bagged the most points in the final six matches of the Premiership campaign, finishing in sixth place on the log.
City coach Jan Olde Riekerink says they are very excited about the encounter.
“We are very excited. I have the feeling that we are ready, that we are prepared and Saturday will be the kick-off. We have the history; I think 2018 Cape Town City won the tournament, I think the year before they lost the finals so we already have a small history playing in this cup.”
The last quarter-final match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic will be a repeat of the Nedbank Cup final. Sundowns wrapped up the season on a high when they beat Celtic in September.
Newly appointed Sundowns co-coaches aim to keep the team’s high standards in MTN8 clash: