Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt has explained his strategy for success in the 2020-21 season even if the club fail to overturn a transfer ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Chiefs are banned from signing players for two transfer windows related to the signing of the Madagascan player Dax in 2018‚ complicating new coach Hunt’s first of three years at his first big three club.
Hunt said he has a squad who showed last season they are capable of challenging for the DStv Premiership‚ finishing runners-up in a dramatic twist on the final day having led for almost the entire campaign. He said that disappointment can be turned into motivation‚ because the players have a lot to prove.
Four-time PSL winner Hunt‚ who replaces Ernst Middendorp after Chiefs decided not to continue with last season’s coach‚ also pointed to the club’s promising academy products.
Chiefs kick off their season with Sunday’s MTN8 quarterfinal against Maritzburg United at FNB Stadium.
“Chiefs did very well last year and were very unfortunate. So we’ll try and work with that and hopefully the ruling will be made sooner rather than later‚” Hunt said.
“There’s not really much I can say about the whole thing. The players have been very committed in training. But the proof will be on Sunday and see how [it goes].
“I’ve only been here two-and-a-half weeks‚ and we did miss a week because the players had a break.
“But no excuses. The good thing is I know the players‚ I know what we’re facing and what we’ve got in the squad.
“So I have to work round that‚ and there are quite a few good young players here who certainly will get their chance.
“But [on older players] I always say that if you’re good enough and can still do the job it doesn’t matter what your age is. But we have to balance the two [youth and age] because of the situation at the football club.
“I’m very confident in the players who we have got. Some you mention as ‘old players’. But‚ ja‚ they’ve done well‚ they’ve worked hard and I’m sure they’ve got a lot to prove as well going forward.”
Chiefs presented their appeal case to CAS on September 9‚ and are awaiting the outcome. Hunt was asked how he can approach the situation while he waits‚ and if he can identify targets in the meantime with the hope of signing them should Chiefs get a positive ruling.
“It’s very difficult to try and sign players and promise them that the ban will be lifted‚” the coach said.
“If you look at the flipside of it‚ I think it’s important that a lot of the players who were here last year can prove again that they can do it. And that’s a great opportunity.
“Because it’s exactly the same squad – there’s nobody new or who’s gone out.
“On signing of players‚ it’s at an administration level and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Chiefs drew 1-1 against Baroka FC on the final day of the Covid-19-affected 2019-20 Premiership on September 5‚ allowing Sundowns‚ as 3-0 winners against Black Leopards‚ to sneak in for the title.