Benni is free to pick my brain any­time, says Hunt

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he learns the ropes in his trans­for­ma­tion from ex-player to coach.

“Benni has got great in­sight. No­body has done what he has done from a play­ing per­spec­tive,” Hunt said. “This is a great op­por­tu­nity for him, and John must be com­mended for that. But how he does is not when the team is play­ing well or win­ning, it’s when the team is not do­ing so well. That is the dif­fer­ence. I think he has got all the at­tributes and he is a strong-minded boy. He will be fine tac­ti­cally be­cause he knows the game. You ob­vi­ously need to know the lo­cal mar­ket, but John will help him there. It’s a good ap­point­ment, some­thing fresh and nice.”

Comi­tis opted for McCarthy, 39, over vet­er­ans Ruud Krol, who won the tre­ble with Or­lando Pi­rates six years ago, as well as for­mer Kaizer Chiefs and Pi­rates coach Muhsin Er­tu­gral.

With that de­ci­sion he’s in­vited the skep­tics to rea­son that the job might be too big for McCarthy, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing City’s third place fin­ish and Telkom Knock­out suc­cess last sea­son un­der Eric Tin­kler.

“I don’t think so,” said Hunt as he re­acted to those doubt­ing McCarthy as a good fit for the Mother City club. “He is a big per­son­al­ity with a great pro­file, which can also turn against you. But I think they will give him time, which is im­por­tant.

“When you are a top player like he was and you start at the bot­tom you need to come out the other end. He will be fine.”

Hunt also ar­gued against the no­tion that ‘Benni should have started at a smaller club’.

“Peo­ple don’t want to start by go­ing to win­ning teams, why not? They have a great struc­ture there, a good team and they had a good sea­son. Let’s see if Benni can im­prove that.

“Why be scared? I hear what the skep­tics are say­ing, I mean I did three years in the first divi­sion, earn­ing my stripes. Benni’s got a great op­por­tu­nity and I wish him all the best. I think City will give him the sup­port.”

Hunt said his door was al­ways open for McCarthy to pick his brain on any­thing.

“We have spo­ken a lot since his ap­point­ment be­cause we have been do­ing TV work to­gether (as pun­dits on Su­perS­port dur­ing the Fifa Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup) and we sit there for hours talk­ing,” the Wits coach re­vealed. “He knows he can pick up the phone and ask me any­thing, whether it is to bounce things off me or chat about a player in the lo­cal league they are try­ing to get, what­ever the sit­u­a­tion.

“The hard thing is the dayto-day stuff, not the matches be­cause that is the easy part . But that’s all for learn­ing, he has great ex­pe­ri­ence and has played at the high­est level with great coaches. I am sure he can take a lot out of that and build from there.

“The thing is that if you were a great player, like he was, have you got the pa­tience to work at a level much lower than what you were used to? That is the se­cret.”

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