Hunt hits out at away draw

SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt hit out at his championship winning side’s second successive away first round draw in the MTN 8 competition.

”It is scandalous. The top four teams in the Premiership should get a home draw in the first round [quarterfinals] as a bonus.

”In fact this is our third away first round draw in the top eight competition. In my first year with SuperSport we drew Moroka Swallows away.

”Then both times as PSL champions we drew Orlando Pirates away last year and now we play AmaZulu away next Tuesday night in the opening round of the cup.

”But there is nothing I can do about the rules,” Hunt said.

In the past the top four teams in the league were given home ground advantage in the first round of the top eight cup, but that changed some years ago.

The draw now is seeded with the champions playing the side finishing eight (AmaZulu), second placed Pirates play Ajax Cape Town and so on. But United are the only seeded team to be drawn away in the quarterfinals of the winner takes all R8-million first prize.

The other seven sides will pocket R800 000.

Said Hunt: ”It does not seem fair to me. But there is nothing we can do about it and I will get on with it and try and win the Cup.

”We beat Pirates away last year and aim to beat AmaZulu this time. The money is brilliant and we could do with the R8-million winner’s cheque.”

Hunt said AmaZulu will be a tough nut to crack, but he is eager to get started. ”We have had a five week break which is long enough. I want to get the season started.

”AmaZulu are not an easy side to meet in the first game of a new season away from home. They have a new coach in Neil Tovey and will be fired up.

”But I am confident we have a balanced side this season and aim to do well, not just in the league, but in the cup competitions as
well.”

Hunt also said a lot of clubs are panicking over nothing as regards the short Premiership season that starts when United open the defence of their title away to Maritzburg United at the Woodburn Stadium on August 7, and ends on February 28, to allow Bafana Bafana coach Joel Santana at least three months to prepare his squad for the 2010 World Cup that kicks off on home soil on June 11.

”A lot of clubs are over reacting to the short season. Sure, we might play games every three days for a while, but there are plenty of rest periods with Fifa dates, so while it will be a test, there is nothing to worry about in my mind.

”We simply have to get on with it. Playing regularly is good for players and coaches. It keeps us sharp and on our toes.”

Hunt said his new players have all settled in, but his chances of resigning Bafana midfielder Lance Davids, looks slim.

”I wanted to keep him after he joined us in January on a short-term contract, but there is no ways we can pay the European wages he is used to.

”So I doubt if we can come to a deal. It is a pity, but we do not have that kind of money to spend on any player.” — Sapa

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