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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

SuperSport coach Hunt makes bold prediction on Okon’s future

Okon has caught the eye of Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos.

Gavin Hunt has earmarked rising prospect Ime Okon as a future captain of SuperSport United after giving him the armband against Modern Future of Egypt in a Caf Confederation Cup match on Sunday.

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The 20-year-old has been a been a revelation in his debut season in the DStv Premiership, making 23 appearances across all competitions.

Okon has also caught the eye of Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos. The Belgian named the young defender in his Africa Cup of Nations preliminary squad but Okon missed out on a place in the final team that won a bronze medal in Côte d’Ivoire.

“Yes, I think he’s a future captain. I mean I’ve done it here before Bongani Khumalos and when they were 20 to 21,” Hunt said following the 1-1 draw against Future at Peter Mokaba Stadium where the exciting youngster captained Matsatsantsa a Pitori.

“I always feel that we we are in the process of building a new team again and I think Ime is the future like Aphiwe (Baliti), Gape (Moralo), Shandre (Campbell) and so many. We need to build and I think Ime is a perfect answer for us and I think he will be a good captain.”

SuperSport are out of Caf’s second tier competition with a game to spare. They will finish their group stage campaign against USM Alger on Sunday.

Although Hunt prioritised the DStv Premiership over the Confederation Cup, the 59-year-old looked at the bright side of their campaign.

“Yes and no, because I like the Caf experience. I think it brings the team on tremendously,” Hunt answered when asked if it’s a blessing in disguise to be knocked out of the competition.

“It helped us when I was here the first time, it helped me at Wits and it has helped me wherever I’ve been. You bring young players through and you give them experience to play and you’ll be better in the league for it.

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“The league has always been a focus. It has to be a focus for a club of our size where we finished in the league last year. We came third for the first time, I don’t know in how many years.”

United next face Cape Town City in the league on Wednesday in what will be a repeat of the Nedbank Cup last-32 encounter that the Tshwane side won on penalties.

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