Avatar photo

By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

Hunt defends ‘tight budget’ SuperSport’s Confed Cup philosophy

'I think it's (criticism) unjustified because people don't understand the financial implications,' said the SuperSport head coach.

SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt has reacted to the tough draw they have been handed in the CAF Confederation Cup this season.

Matsatsantsa a Pitori are in the same group as Algeria’s USM Alger who the defending champions of the competition.

The Tshwane-based side will also have to contend with Lybian side Al-Hilal Benghazi and Future FC of Egypt for a spot in the knockout phase.

The first round of matches in CAF’s second-tier club competition will be played on November 26.

“I think we got a tougher draw than most Champions League teams. We have three big North African teams with big crowds,” Hunt remarked about daunting task of playing some of the big boys on the continent.

“So we are going to go out there and we are going to learn while thinking on our feet because it’s not going to be easy for us. I want them (players) to get experience and see how things are done but we don’t have to fear anyone. Let’s go out there and see how we do.”

Hunt guided Kaizer Chiefs to the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League before being sacked two years ago. However, the experienced coach has made it clear that he will prioritise the DStv Premiership over the Confederation Cup.

Financial constraints

He believes the notion that United doesn’t take the continental competition seriously is unfair due to their financial constraints.

“I have to (playing youngsters) because we are not going to be able to do it. We have 23 players and it’s a small squad,” he said.

“I think it’s (criticism) unjustified because people don’t understand the financial implications and what’s going on. It’s very expensive for a club our size who work on a tight budget but we will do our best.

“You can’t compare us with the top sides in the world who have to play over 60 games in a 10-month period. I also like to play but you have to have the squad.”

Meanwhile, Sekhukhune United will be up against RS Berkane, Diables Noirs and Stade Malien in the group stages of the same competition.

Mamelodi Sundowns are South Africa’s sole representatives in CAF’s premier club competition, the champions league. They are in the same group as FC Nouadhibou, Pyramids and TP Mazembe.