Kaizer Chiefs’ meandering season took another turn on Thursday night, when the club announced Gavin Hunt’s sudden departure.
A season that has seen more twists and turns than The Bold and Beautiful left the biggest surprise for the final episodes. 253 tumultuous days later, the man that led Chiefs to a first Champions League semi-final had his contract terminated.
The post-mortems into his stint at Chiefs has begun, and the details should follow soon.
What we have on hand, readily available, are 10 stats to highlight his tenure,
that could even help with various post-mortems. We’ve broken them down into three categories, starting generously with The Good.
Everyone enjoys when a coach gives youngsters a chance – and this is true for Gavin Hunt. Three of the Top 5 players who have played the most minutes for Chiefs this season are 23 and under – Siyabonga Ngezana (23), Njabulo Blom (21) and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo (21). The latter stands out:
4 – Ngcobo (4 goals) is the top scoring PSL player to play under Gavin Hunt who was also born after Hunt made his PSL coaching debut in 1998.
It’s easy to forget, Chiefs are three games away from becoming African champions. They are the last remaining South African side in the tournament, and they are a couple of steps away from becoming champions of the continent.
1 – Gavin Hunt led Chiefs to their first ever CAF Champions League semi-final, and his first CAF CL semi as a coach.
Sundowns were crowned champions the day before the only man who masterminded a defeat over them this season was released. Downs could have been still in the picture for an ‘Invincible’ season, but lost 2-1 to Chiefs last month. In beating Sundowns, Chiefs equalled the record for times that a team has beaten the defending PSL champions (12).
1 – Chiefs the only side to beat all six other different title winners at least once in the season following their triumph (Manning Rangers, Santos, Orlando Pirates, Bidvest Wits and Sundowns).
Hunt became the first coach in professional South African football to coach 900 top-flight games. He’s coached seven teams in the top-flight since his PSL coaching debut in 1998, but the 900th game came this month at Chiefs.
1998/99 – This was the first time since 1998/99 (after 20 games at Seven Stars) that Hunt left a coaching role before completing at least one full season at a club.
10 – The defeat against Black Leopards was Chiefs’ 10th league defeat of the season, equalling their club record for most defeats in a PSL season (Lost 10 in 2006/07 & 2008/09).
35 – The two goals Leopards scored made it 36 goals conceded for Chiefs this season, equalling their worst record for a PSL league campaign (35 also in 1997/98, a season that had 34 games).
6 – With two games remaining and just six wins in the bag, Chiefs are now guaranteed to finish the season with their fewest number of wins in a PSL campaign. They can no longer reach their previous lowest total (9).
39 – With two games remaining and 30 points won, Chiefs are also guaranteed to finish the season with their lowest points total in a PSL campaign. They can no longer reach their previous lowest total (39 points).
-5 – Chiefs have never finished a season having conceded more goals than they scored. Their goal difference is -5 at the moment, with two games to play against Golden Arrows and TS Galaxy.
9 – Chiefs could end the season in their lowest ever position (previous lowest is 9th in 2001/02 (18 team league), 2006/07 & 2018/19). The highest they can finish is still 8th (if other results go their way) but the lowest they can finish is 15th (if other results don’t go their way).
RELATED STORY: Chiefs terminate Hunt’s contract
By Opta Jabu