Fikru backs Hunt to succeed at Chiefs


Former Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United striker Fikru Teferra Lemessa believes his former coach Gavin Hunt can make the grade at Kaizer Chiefs if accorded time.

Lemessa, who won the two PSL championships with SuperSport United under the tutelage of Hunt, says the four times PSL champion can lead Amakhosi to glory.

“I think Gavin is gonna have a successful time with Chiefs. He’s going to make supporters happy. I know they’re going to be patient with him. I remember at SuperSport the first year when we won the league, the first six games we were winless. If Chiefs give him the time, I know he’s gonna win something for them,” Lemessa told FARPost.

“I know Hunt is the best coach. He’s going to bring success with his new team. He is a winner just like Pitso (Mosimane). Together with Pitso, they made the PSL competitive. I think now Gavin is going to be the best because he’s at one of her the best teams in Africa.”

The Ethiopian international, who has played for a number of PSL clubs including Bidvest Wits, Free State Starts, University of Pretoria and Highlands Park, has also hailed Mosimane’s move to Egyptian giants Al Ahly saying more local coaches should follow in the footsteps of the former Mamelodi Sundowns coach.

“Pitso is the best coach in Africa. Other local coaches must follow his steps. They mustn’t circle here from one club to another club. They’re going around in South Africa. Coaches from other countries come here and coach each and every club. They must leave for young talent. There’s a lot former players who are coaching, they must give them a chance.

“The ones who have been here for 20 years must go outside and experience themselves. They must go outside like Pitso. He must be a good example for them. I am proud of him and I wish him all the success at Al Ahly,” said the 34-year-old.

Lemessa is undecided about his football future. Before the pandemic he was on the books of Indian side Mohammedan Sporting Club. Though it’s unlikely that the lanky forward will return to the pitch, he is determined to make a contribution to the sport. He has plans of opening his own academy in Ethiopia and South Africa.

“I am busy with other business. I don’t think I’m going back to football. I have some offers from Asia but because of this pandemic I just started some business and it’s going well. So I’m just going to continue with the business. I was thinking of going back but when this pandemic came I changed my mind. I just joined the business. For now it’s good.

“I’m also trying to work on opening a football academy back home in Ethiopia. I also want to do something here in South Africa because I made my name this side so I also have to help the community,” said the soon to be founder of Fikru Lemessa Academy.

DID YOU KNOW? When Lemessa joined Pirates in 2006, he became the first Ethiopian to play in the PSL.

“Everything is going well with the plans. There’s a lot of talent especially where I come from. There are so many good players but they don’t have the opportunity to come out and show their talents. That’s why I want to go and help the kids. Even here in South Africa I know a lot of kids are talented because I went to different locations. We are just waiting to see the future. I would like to see kids from my academy representing the national team in my country and also here in South Africa.

“I want to see them playing in the Premier League and La Liga. Everything is possible as long as you work hard.”

By Hosea Ramphekwa

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