Hunt banking on Mahlambi move

Mahlambi jetted out to Portugal at the end of last month for a trial with the Primeira Liga side where Bafana Bafana midfielder Bongani Zungu is currently excelling, and has looked impressive thus far.

The 19-year-old speedster featured and played a big part in a well-worked team goal as the Conquerors overcame Sporting Lisbon 3-0 in a friendly encounter.

Hunt, who previously likened Mahlambi to Bafana great Benni McCarthy, is fully aware of how valuable a talent he is, and is eager for the teenage sensation to win over the Vitoria management to earn a permanent stay in Europe.

“I don’t want it him to come back… No, I do want him to come back, but you know what I’m trying to say,” stated Hunt.

“I want him to have a career in Europe, make a name for himself and look after his family. I do want him to come back [to strengthen the team] but I hope he doesn’t come back.”

Asked whether he has maintained contact with the budding star, the reigning PSL Coach of the Season says other than the language barrier and increased demands, Mahlambi is holding his own and counts the presence of Zungu as a huge advantage.

“I’ve spoken to him a couple of times and obviously language is a problem – I don’t have to give you that,” he added.

“Culturally, football-wise, how they play and the demands that have been put on him is [greater] … I said to him, ‘You thought I was tough, wait until you go and play in Europe my friend, and you’re a foreigner.’

“He’s struggling with that but he’s played one or two friendlies and he’s doing well. Zungu is a big help for him, so long may it continue.”