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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

Hunt defends youth policy after Confed Cup exit

'We're a club that believes in our youth and that is what our club is about,' said the SuperSport head coach.

Gavin Hunt was forced to defend SuperSport United from the local media in Algeria, who were clearly dumbfounded by his policy of fielding a relatively inexperienced side in the Caf Confederation Cup.

Matsatsantsa a Pitori lost 2-1 in an away fixture to defending champions USM Alger on Sunday to finish bottom of Group A in Caf’s second-tier competition.

SuperSport knew their fate way before the trip to North Africa. Hunt left his trusted regulars back in South Africa in favour of playing a second string team.

“The management know and I’ve been instructed. That’s what we do for this tournament,” Hunt responded when asked if he will resign following a poor showing in the competition.

“I should have answered that question by saying give me their (USM Alger) budget and I’ll show you how to win. It has to do with finance. We do it on a budget, we brought 16 players here and we come two days before and not three.

“We’re a club that believes in our youth and that is what our club is about because we run on a very small budget. I bet you that you’re lowest paid player here, is not even my highest paid player.

“We believe in young players at the club and my job is to produce players to go to Europe and we have two going already not from this group. We have to look after our franchise because we can afford to be out of the top league and for what we do, we over achieve as a club. Domestically we should be in the top 8 but we’re in the top 2 so the club is doing okay.”

‘A good learning curve’

Despite being on the losing side and drawing the ire of Algerian journalists for not prioritising the continental competition, Hunt was happy with his team’s performance.

“We played with our under-19 team and I thought we did very well but obviously the result is the result but we had a lot of opportunities,” he concluded.

“We played like this the whole of the Confederation Cup where we could have won games. Yes, they had chances but we also had very good chances I thought we played very good football but the results were not there. If you look at the players that we played, we had none of the first team players so it’s a good learning curve and the future of the club.”

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