THERE’S no rest for SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt despite notching up a fourth trophy in five years with Saturday’s 2-0 Nedbank Cup final win over Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium.
With Hunt set to lose at least two more key players – defenders Morgan Gould and Tebogo Langerman – to add to the long list plundered from his team in the past five years, the SuperSport coach said he would again have to start rebuilding his team this off-season.
Centre-back Gould is set to join Kaizer Chiefs and will be the biggest loss to Hunt, following on the sale of Bafana Bafana team- mate Bongani Khumalo to Tottenham Hotspur a season and a half ago.
Hunt said he would begin looking at the transfer market once he had had a meeting with SuperSport’s management today, where the coach hinted it would be a mere formality that an agreement would be reached for him to coach the Pretoria team next season.
"We’ve always got to make plans for new players,” Hunt said after his team’s polished victory against a 10-man Sundowns.
"You’ve just got to look at the last seven seasons, we’ve lost a lot of players.
"We’ve got candidates to replace the players we’re losing. But it’s an open market out there and it’s very difficult to get players. There are one or two we’ll try and get, and we’ll use our youth academy. We had three 19-year- olds playing today, so that’s fantastic.” Hunt said he believed his team would have beaten Sundowns on the day, even without the 18th-minute dismissal of defender Clayton Daniels for a foul on SuperSport forward Kermit Erasmus.
"It [the red card] affected us more because Sundowns upped their tempo and took more chances. I thought we were playing better when they had 11 players, when Sibusiso Zuma should have scored from an unbelievable chance.”
Hunt praised the performance of striker Zuma, 36, who ran himself to a standstill and was a constant threat to Sundowns.
"He only played half a year this season. He was very unfortunate and got injured badly – I thought he was finished. But these Zulus, they come back strong.
"He’s come back very well and I thought he was magnificent today.”
Kermit Erasmus was a candidate for man of the match, and scored SuperSport’s killer goal in the 60th minute, following Thabo September’s 40th-minute opener. The talented forward struggled for game time for much of the season, but has finished strongly.
"Kermit was at Feyenoord and came back, and it was a big blow to him,” Hunt said. "I said to him, I thought he went to Holland too early and it was the big, wide world out there and he struggled. But the kid’s got huge potential.”
Sundowns coach Johan Nees- kens had to finish his first season in South Africa trophyless, but said he was not concerned about falling foul of owner Patrice Motsepe’s notorious impatience with coaches who don’t deliver silverware.
"I’m not afraid of my future because there are only two people who will decide it, and that is myself and the president.
"This was my first year, and for me the players were new. We started to play with a new [4-3-3] system and the players had to adapt to it. If I look at it over the whole season I think there was a lot of improvement in the team.”