Owen Da Gama feels Gavin Hunt's pain

Highlands Park head coach Owen Da Gama. Veli Nhlapo
Highlands Park head coach Owen Da Gama. Veli Nhlapo

Gavin Hunt has found a sympathiser in Highlands Park coach Owen da Gama following the sale of Bidvest Wits.

Da Gama is feeling sorry for Hunt because like him, he too was left wondering about his future after the sale of Silver Stars more than a decade ago.

Hunt was told to look for new employment by Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) who have bought Wits status. The coach was told by the new owners that his salary was too high.

The club will relocate to Limpopo in the new season and will be playing in Thohoyandou Stadium.

Even though Da Gama was kept as a coach when Silver Stars sold their shares to Platinum Stars in 2007, he still feels the pain Hunt, together with Wits players, are going through at the moment.

"It is very difficult. I had a little bit of that taste when Silver Stars was sold to Platinum Stars; players had to relocate and all that," Da Gama said.

"I understand a little bit about that; it is not very easy on Gavin and all the players."

When Platinum Stars bought 51 percent shares in 2007, they kept the entire team, including Da Gama.

TTM, however, said they will only take players they can afford and this has seen a mass exodus of players leaving Wits as some are not willing to relocate.

Although he was not treated like Hunt, Da Gama believes that TTM should have waited at least until the end of the season to make that announcement.

"At the end of the day maybe it is also better to announce it early so people can make plans. I hope Wits will go out and do well in the league and the Nedbank Cup."

Da Gama also added that they have identified two players from Wits and are trying to sign them for the next season.

It is believed that he is targeting Buhle Mkhwanazi and Sifiso Hlanti to strengthen the Highlands defence, but Da Gama refused to name names.

"We've spoken and we've put some names down, but obviously, we can't divulge those names otherwise it won't be good for the players. Yes, we are interested in one or two players, but we will have to wait until the football is finished."

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