Hunt says striker leads by example

'Nurkovic has attributes of a captain at Chiefs'

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Samir Nurković
Samir Nurković
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Striker Samir Nurkovic will be Kaizer Chiefs’ skipper only when defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele is not available.

This was revealed by Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt  after Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Stellenbosch at Danie Craven Stadium, where Nurkovic was surprisingly the side’s captain.

Mphahlele missed this clash after failing a late fitness test, having sustained a groin strain in the 3-0 home win over  somewhat listless Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila on Wednesday.

Seeing Nurkovic donning the armband ahead of the likes of Daniel Cardoso, Lebogang Manyama, Eric Mathoho and Daniel Akpeyi, who had all captained the side at some point this term, raised eyebrows.

After months of rotating the armband between the aforementioned players, it looks like Hunt has finally concluded that Mphahlele is his first choice to skipper the team, with Nurkovic second in the captaincy pecking order.

“He [Nurkovic] leads by example. He’s what we need in the future of this football club. We need people who have game toughness, who are mentally tough and I think he’s one of them. So it was a perfect decision [to give him the armband],’’ said Hunt.

“It’s something that will be going on. But Rama [Mphahlele] had been the captain for the past couple of games. When he comes back he will be the captain.’’

The four-time league winning coach sounded pleased with his troops’ performance at Stellenbosch. While acknowledging they could have easily won or lost the game, Hunt valued the point they got on the road.

“I thought we had better chances in the game. We also played a little bit better a times. We could have won it; possibly they could have also won it. All in all, we take the point and move on,’’ said Hunt.

Amakhosi’s focus is now on tomorrow’s match at home to Baroka. Four days after playing Baroka, Chiefs travel to Orlando Stadium to face Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates.

Hunt feels he doesn’t have the luxury to spare some of his stars for the derby by not playing them against Bakgaga.

“We can’t rest anybody because we don’t have [enough players]. I don’t even think about the derby. I mean, we’ve got Baroka on Tuesday [tomorrow],’’ noted Hunt.

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