Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt scoffs at exorbitant Premier Soccer League transfer prices
Posted: 19 July 2017 Time: 20:40
Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has described the South African transfer market prices as “really ridiculous”, making it difficult to strengthen the chinks that showed in their armour last season.
While the Clever Boys ended the 2016/17 campaign as Absa Premiership champions, they were hit with untimely blows to their playing staff on their way to the crown, with Papy Faty being forced out of football with heart problems the most notable hit.
Injuries to Phakamani Mahlambi and James Keene further depleted Wits’ title charge, and while Hunt’s men were eventually able to go the whole way in the league race, the coach admits not being able to properly utilise the transfer market can cost teams dearly.
“The biggest stumbling block was not being able to get the players we want because we [Wits] can’t buy players. The prices in the market now are really ridiculous,” the Students coach tells KICK OFF Magazine in the July issue, available on shelves and for download.
“The other one [stumbling block] is that we were very unfortunate with losing players at crucial times, like Papy Faty. I thought he was good for us and he would have added huge value for us, but to learn that he can’t play football anymore is a big blow.
“Again, long-term injuries to Phakamani Mahlambi and James Keene; they hardly played this season and missed the end of last season so it was difficult for them.”
The coach also pointed to a string of mis-performances at the halfway point of the season as another area where they could improve.
“The league [title] was obviously the focus from the start,” he says. “In December last year, we threw it away a little bit with those four games that we drew and lost, and I thought it would take a lot of work in the second round, but I’m happy we came good.
“We won a couple of crucial games in the second round, and that’s what it takes. There are always those defining moments.”