Hunt: Who would have thought?
Posted: 18 May 2017 Time: 10:08 am
Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt chuffed with the club's historic achievement of securing the Absa Premiership title while reserving praise for his charges' efforts.
The Clever Boys killed two birds with one stone at the Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday evening as their 2-0 win over Polokwane City wrapped up the championship race, after rivals Mamelodi Sundowns fell out of contention with a draw at home to Maritzburg United.
Wits have reached their highest ever points tally in the PSL era, with 60 points from 29 games, while the Brazilians lay four points adrift and are unable to topple the Milkpark-based outfit regardless of the outcome of the last round of league fixtures next weekend.
Having secured their first ever league title in 96 years since the formation of the club back in 1921, Hunt lauded the histotic achievement before admitting he always knew that the team had it in them to succeed in their quest.
"Who would have ever thought a club like Bidvest Wits could win a league title? Never in their history have they won a league title," said an overjoyed Hunt.
"The last three or four years we've been close – third, third, second – and I knew and I could feel it; it's there, it's just that we needed [something extra].
"I mean look at our squad, it's decimated again, we're struggling with players but anyway we got over the hurdle."
Prior to the season the former SuperSport United mentor brought in numerous players, some experienced and others more youthful, in order to strengthen their bid of going one further than their runners-up finish last season.
All that has now paid dividends despite earlier signs of possible capitulation when the likes of Xola Mlambo, Nazeer Allie and Buhle Mkhwanazi were forced to the sidelines due to injury, and Hunt couldn't be prouder of how the rest of his chargers responded when called upon.
"If you look at the team I picked tonight, I said to myself, 'well, if they can't do it then nobody can do it,' and I put all those [experienced] guys back in the team – well, it's the only ones we had left anyway," he said jokingly.
"Guys like [Elias] Pelembe and Daine [Klate] were absolutely immense tonight, and I thought Granwald Scott – I tried to sign him 10 years ago, but anyway – and everybody from the front to the back was good.
"We were disaapointed last week [against Free State Stars] with the way we played because we got bullied a little bit when we conceded those goals, but I knew we could do it this week if we just stick to what we're good at and we did that, and I'm proud of the team."
Hunt also felt they made it difficult for themselves when they went through a slump last last year, while admitting that his reserved approach of their title chances was merely a tactic to alleviate pressure on themselves.
"To be fare, we should have won this league [long ago]... I don't care [what people say]. We stumbled," he conceded.
"In December we drew four games and we lost to Cape Town City here in the 95th minute. We should have been well clear but we got ourselves back in the race and anytime you make 60 points and above you've done well.
"It's what I've had to do [downplay our title chances]. What else can I say to them. The club brought me here wanting to win and we've been okay. We've got into cup finals and we've done a little bit here and there but this is the ultimate.
"Two trophies this year has been good, you can't ask for more."