The PSL title race was expected to go down to the wire, but Wits were saved from the mmmm of a title-decider against Kaizer Chiefs on the last day of the season when rivals and defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns faltered at home to Maritzburg United.
With the Brazilians held 2-2, Wits’ 2-0 victory over City gave them an unassailable four-point lead at the top of the standings with one game left to play.
Wits coach Gavin Hunt now has three PSL crowns to his name, after winning three consecutive titles with SuperSport United from 2007 to 2010. The shrewd tactician, one of the few local coaches to boast international coaching badges, has overseen steady progress since joining the club four years ago. The former Hellenic right-back became the third coach to guide a club to four league titles, after Gordon Igesund and the late Ted Dumitru.
“Winning the title is a great achievement given that we suffered a lot of serious injuries during the season. We believe in and trust youth at Wits and those youngsters who came in to fill gaps did a magnificent job,” Hunt was quoted saying in The Citizen.
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“A tremendous amount of hard work has finally paid off. When I arrived here I did not believe the then squad was good enough to win the league. I began to overhaul it, but it takes time to build a league-winning squad and I am grateful for the patience and belief my bosses showed in me.”
It was also a special occasion for veteran Daine Klaite, who clinched his sixth league title at the age of 32. The Port Elizabeth-born Klaite is the country’s most decorated footballer, after fruitful spells at SuperSport and Orlando Pirates.
The left-winger, who scored on the night, was among Wits’ exciting mix of experienced and young talent that did the business for the Braamfontein club over the course of an incredibly competitive season that brought them their first league honours in their 96-year history. Wits will be looking to push on and emulate Sundowns in achieving continental glory. With Hunt at the helm, they just might do it.
Additional reporting by The Citizen