The coach of PSL champions SuperSport United is ready to take over from Parreira after the World Cup if given the opportunity.Welcome to Goal.com - Know Your Rivals for the World Cup 2010!
In this special series we bring you the local knowledge of the world's leading football tournament. With our worldwide team of experts, each one based in the country in question - from Brazil to North Korea - you'll hear first-hand the latest team news, exclusive interviews, and fan opinions of your World Cup opponents.
SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt, who is likely to take over from Carlos Alberto Parreira as South Africa coach after the World Cup, spoke exclusively with Goal.com regarding Bafana Bafana with the showpiece event only a few months away.
Goal.com: A recent fanview conducted on Goal.com showed that our South African readers would have preferred you to take over as Bafana coach rather than Carlos Alberto Parreira. Do you think you would do a better job than Mr Parreira?
Hunt: I am really happy that people believe in my ability and this is really touching. However, to compare me with Parreira is just something else as this man is more experienced and, besides, he is a World Cup winner. The people have always believed in local coaches and, me being one of them, I will cherish the opportunity if it's granted to me.
Goal.com: Talking about local coaches doing well, what do you make of Portugal appointing Roger De Sa as their assistant coach?
Hunt: Well, I must say South Africa is constantly shooting itself in the foot by ignoring local talent. This country has good coaches both black and white and it’s a pity they only get recognised outside of our boarders. I am happy for Roger as he is another talent who has been ignored in the country.
Goal.com: After so much success with SuperSport United, do you feel ready to take over the Bafana reigns if the opportunity arises after the World Cup?
Hunt: I would never wish for something like that, especially at this time with the tournament just a whisker away. The coaching industry is unpredictable but now Bafana Bafana and the coach need our support. Of course, if the opportunity was given to me I would grab it with both hands, I mean, it's every coach’s dream to lead their home country and I am no exception.
Goal.com: Which player who has not yet received a call up to the national team do you believe deserves a chance?
Hunt: Glen Salmon. He offers you the best variation and mobility that any team can ever wish for in their leading striker. His off the ball runs are unbelievable and he is experienced too.
Goal.com: Between Joel Santana and Carlos Alberto Parreira, which Brazilian coach do you believe was better for South African football?
Hunt: I think comparing the two is just not fair. In Parreira you are talking about a vastly experienced man and his record is way better than that of Santana. Carlos is a World Cup winner and that speaks volumes.
Goal.com: What will South Africa need to do to progress from Group A?
Hunt: Obviously they have to win a game and this will make it difficult for any opposition that comes their way. If the team wins one game then that’s the beginning of great things.
Goal.com: Other than Bafana, which team would you like to see win the World Cup?
Hunt: Brazil. After winning the Confederations Cup Brazil seem to have adapted to South Africa’s conditions quicker and in my view they stand a good chance. Besides, they have a good coach and young players that are playing with discipline. In modern football, discipline is important and this is key for the Brazilians' success under their young coach.
Goal.com: Of the African 'Six Pack', which of the sides do you believe will pose the greatest threat at the World Cup?
Hunt: Ghana will be a major surprise. If they can have all their senior players back, especially Michael Essien, then they will be unstoppable. They have a young and discipline team which makes them a good side.