‘He’s a proven winner’ – Mphahlele on what makes Kaizer Chiefs coach Hunt different from Middendorp

The Bafana Bafana international revealed that the four-time PSL-winning tactician is working on the players’ mindsets

Kaizer Chiefs defender Ramahlwe ‘Rama’ Mphahlele has lauded the club’s new head coach Gavin Hunt as a proven winner.

The Soweto giants moved swiftly to appoint Hunt as their coach after parting ways with German tactician Ernst Middendorp last month. 

Hunt has been tasked with ending Chiefs’ five-year trophy drought having enjoyed some success at his previous clubs, Moroka Swallows, SuperSpot United and Bidvest Wits 

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“Gavin Hunt has been in the game for long. He knows what South African soccer is all about. He’s a proven winner,” Mphahlele told the club’s official website. 

“He is very precise in what he wants. We concentrate on what to do when we have the ball, what to do when we don’t have the ball and how to break down opponents.”

“It was an agonizing ending to the season. we all agree on that. Now, we just want to play and make things right,” he continued. 

“He’s different. He pushes us hard and clearly wants the best out of everyone. One thing is clear, if you don’t work hard, you won’t be part of the matchday team.”

Mphahlele has reunited with Hunt as the 56-year-old mentor handed Rama his first professional contract at Swallows in the 2006/2007 season, with the versatile defender having been nurtured in the club’s academy. 

“The coach clearly loves working with young players. I am seeing it now at Chiefs as well. It’s interesting to see how he’s pushing them,” Rama said.

“The youngsters will need to step up and show that they are ready to compete for a first-team starting position. I think what we need is a mixture of senior players and youngsters.”

The 30-year-old also explained that Hunt is working on the players’ mindset after the Soweto giants narrowly missed out on the PSL title on the last day of the 2019/20 season.  

“From the first day of training, Hunt went straight into tactics. For sure, we are running a lot, but it is mostly with the ball. He also wants training sessions to be done in a certain way, with high intensity,” he added. 

“It’s a bit too early to talk about that match in detail, but we are all looking forward to play a competitive match again and to change the mindset of losing out on the league trophy.”

Chiefs will take on Maritzburg United in the MTN8 quarter-final match on October 18, before starting their league campaign against Mamelodi Sundowns on October 24. 

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