Gavin Hunt has agreed terms on a three-year deal to take over at Kaizer Chiefs, here we look at the coach’s biggest issues.
Not many would believe that the darling of Naturena would ever pose a problem needing to be solved. But age has not been kind to Khune, who at 33 is now more injury prone than ever. In his absence Daniel Akpeyi has proven himself and won over sections of the fans that ordinarily would not tolerate Khune’s name not being on each and every teamsheet. If Khune starts the season fit, Hunt will need to decide and nail his colours to a goalkeeper to start for a prolonged spell. It could be a decision that shapes his tenure as someone who is going to do things his own way.
For the first time in what seems like an age, questions are not being asked of Chiefs’ attack. The emergence of Samir Nurkovic as a proven scorer at this level has eased much of the cries for a star forward to be brought into the setup. With Nurkovic playing alongside Leonardo Castro and Khama Billiat, Amakhosi have a trident worth matching the defending champions Sundowns. But questions remain around Billiat. The Zimbabwean forward joined Chiefs from ‘Downs with seven titles but has struggled for his best since 2018. Three goals in 21 appearances isn’t good enough for a player of Billiat’s level and he must quickly get on board with Hunt’s philosophy or face a spell on the bench.
It’s no secret that the Chiefs head coach does not have the final say in the comings and goings at the club. Hunt is known as a headstrong coach who identifies players that he believes will get his plan across the line. A number of his former Wits players remain available and it will be interesting to see how many follow Hunt to Naturena.
Hunt is a born winner and a coach with a “never say die” attitude. It’s served him well in his career and was a large reason behind Wits’ lone championship win a few years back. Now, he must get his well-paid squad on his side and look to end a trophy drought that has gone on five years including a shock Cup loss to TS Galaxy and of course, letting a 10-point lead slip this year resulting in a loss on the final day of the campaign. Hunt’s biggest task will be reshaping the mentality of the squad from those who might think that trophies are deserved rather than earned.