Gavin Hunt is expected to see out the remainder of the season with the Kaizer Chiefs hierarchy set to decide his future at the end of May.
There’s been mounting pressure on Hunt over the last several months, especially given that Amakhosi were battling to break into the Top 8 bracket in the DStv Premiership until they beat log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns at the weekend.
It’s a result that would have worked in Hunt’s favour, although Siya sources have informed the crew that a defeat would not have changed the club’s thinking regarding what’s left of the 2020/21 campaign – Hunt would still see it through.
The coach has himself admitted that a Top 8 finish is non-negotiable, but Chiefs do still have seven more games to go and did secure a place in the CAF Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in the club’s history.
If they go all the way in the continental competition, then the verdict on his future would obviously be delayed and his success there taken into account.
Hunt, according to insiders at Naturena, does not enjoy the full backing of the board hence his future will be up for discussion when the curtain is brought down on what has been a topsy-turvy first season for him at the club.
He signed a three-year contract in September last year.
Another factor that is understood to be further evidence that the coach and the club aren’t necessarily pulling in the same direction is his desire for a complete overhaul – the Siya crew understands Hunt has requested as many as 15 players to be offloaded, including 10 who are out of contract at the end of June (see gallery above).
This, sources have indicated, is unrealistic for the club and while some will depart, others are expected to be given extensions, so not everyone Hunt sees as surplus to requirements will be leaving at the end of the season.
Chiefs have, however, also made attempts to appease the coach by signing Brandon Petersen, Sifiso Hlanti, Phathutshedzo Nange and Kgaogelo Sekgota – players that he previously worked with at Bidvest Wits before the club was sold last year.
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It’s possible that those signings, who were not registered because of the FIFA ban and were recruited before the season started in October last year, could be working with a new coach next season.
But, for now, it’s understood Chiefs will not be pulling the trigger with seven matches to go and potential Champions League success still in their sights.
This is in favour of making sure the squad is stable ahead of the tough run-in that awaits them.
Story by @superjourno