Hunt hoping PSL won’t play during Afcon

2011-10-13 13:01

Gavin Hunt, the coach of Premiership pace-setters SuperSport United, is hoping the Premier Soccer League (PSL) will not consider playing matches during the Africa Cup of Nations.

Bafana Bafana failed to qualify for the tournament, set for next year January and February, and the PSL is considering structuring some games during what was to be a month-long Afcon-enforced break.

“Obviously, it will affect some teams. The rule has been made and I think we have to stand by it now,” said Hunt.

“We have all planned around [the] break. The old rule was if you have three players out with the national team the game was called off.”

Likely to be doing national duty from Amatsatsantsa a Pitori is the Botswana pair of Dipsy Selolwane and Mogogi Gabonamong, and Zambian defender Davies Nkausu.

“The PSL have set this out and I don’t think it will be right for a team or league to go back to reshuffle now,” Hunt said.

“If it was that case it should have been done before the season started, I don’t think they will do that now that we are going to have a break.

“We will have three players out so it will not be fair if it happens [that we play], I don’t think it will happen, I think sanity will prevail.”

The league’s spokesperson, Altaaf Kazi, said nothing had been finalised as yet on whether there would be games played during the Afcon tournament period.

“It would have to be a decision made by the [PSL’s] executive committee. We will have to provide them with the players that will be eligible for the Afcon tournament.”

After two weeks off to give ample preparation for Bafana’s match against Sierra Leone last weekend, rejuvenated SuperSport – who top the standings with 13 points – are preparing to take on third-placed Maritzburg United at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville tomorrow evening.

The Pretoria outfit had a bad campaign last season, preceded by three successive league titles, and have freshened up at the start of the current season.

SuperSport will be bolstered by September/October player of the month in Malawian striker Atusaye Nyondo, who has scored four goals in the period, to take some of the scoring burden off Anthony Laffor.

“I thought we were very good last season in the situations that we found ourselves in and thought we did well to get out of,” said Hunt.

“We had a very good season even though we got a little bit of a hammering, and that’s because we had set high standards from the three years before.”

They face another season surprise package in the Team of Choice, who remain the only unbeaten side this season, with coach Ian Palmer voted coach of the month for the September and October.

A win by a margin of more than three goals for the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands outfit will see them end the evening on top of the log.

“They are a good side. They seem to be on a high, they came back from a situation where they were losing games and that shows good character,” said Hunt of his opponents.

“They have a lot of pace, so our shape has to be good against them. It will be a tough game that’s for sure. There are no easy games.

“We have some big games coming up before Christmas. I just wish we will have a run of games where we play a little bit more, so it’s important for us to maintain a winning formula.”

Meanwhile, sixth-placed Ajax Cape Town will tackle Jomo Cosmos, who prop up the league and are in desperation of an elusive win, at Cape Town Stadium.

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