Gavin Hunt missing the experience of playing in front of Chiefs’ famous supporters
Gavin Hunt says he has missed the experience of beginning his tenure at Kaizer Chiefs in front of the club’s famous supporters.
The bizarre world we live in has seen Hunt become the first Chiefs coach in history to begin his career there playing in front of empty stadiums due to Covid-19.
On Saturday‚ the first Soweto derby to be played in front of an empty ground in Chiefs’ MTN8 semifinal first leg match-up against Orlando Pirates will also be Hunt’s first derby.
In some ways‚ playing in front of empty stadiums has given Hunt time – with challenges of a transfer ban‚ a two-week season‚ and other aspects of Covid-19’s new normal – to try combinations without the demanding and passionate fans at his back.
The coach‚ characteristically‚ would have preferred it the other way.
“Obviously you want full stadiums. I like that‚ and the players certainly feel it‚ there’s no doubt about it. Maybe it had a lot to do with them in the league last season at the end [being pipped to the title on the final day by Mamelodi Sundowns]‚” he said in his pre-derby press conference on Thursday.
“I certainly feel that it gets you across if you have got them [Chiefs fans] more on your side than against you. I’m more used to having them against me‚ so I’m used to that.
“So‚ ja‚ I would love to have had that experience. But hopefully it will come some day.”
Chiefs are coming off a 1-0 DStv Premiership win against Chippa United at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Tuesday where Hunt fielded a number of fringe players‚ and Amakhosi struck the post four times and could have run out 6-0 winners.
Chiefs were poor losing their opening league match 3-0 against Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Pirates battled to a second 1-1 league draw in succession on Wednesday at Orlando against Stellenbosch FC‚ following Saturday night’s stalemate by the same scoreline against AmaZulu in Durban.
Chiefs and Pirates’ MTN8 semi second leg will be played at FNB Stadium next Sunday (November 8).