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Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt not surprised by Steven Pienaar retirement

18:56 GMT+3 01/03/2018
Bidvest Wits, Steven Pienaar and Gavin Hunt
The experienced coach has praised the former Bafana Bafana captain, who had an unsuccessful six-month spell with the Students

To many, former Bafana Bafana midfielder Steve Pienaar’s retirement has come as a shock as he announced the move on Wednesday night.

The Westbury-born creative playmaker decided to pull down the curtain on his illustrious career which saw him represent many top football clubs around the globe as well as sharing the stage with top talents such as Luka Modrić, Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart.

After launching his career with Ajax Cape Town in 1999, he left the PSL in 2001 for Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam and the nippy midfielder went on to don jerseys for German giants Borussia Dortmund, English clubs Everton, Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur.

After spending many years in Europe, he returned to South Africa and he joined the reigning PSL champions, Bidvest Wits in August last year.

However, he failed to command a regular spot with the Clever Boys and he parted ways with the Braamfontein-based side in January this year.

Resulting from his departure, speculation remains rife that he fell out with Wits coach Gavin Hunt.

Furthermore, Pienaar has been quoted by a number of media houses saying he retired because he was forced to wake up at 7:00 am to head to Wits training grounds for a morning session at 9:00 am.

However, speaking to Goal, Hunt refused to comment much on the 35-year-old’s decision.

“No, I don’t think this it’s too early, you know, what can I say?,” Hunt told Goal.

“I think it’s any player’s decision to retire, you know sometimes it happens at the age of 28 and so on,” he continued.

“I can’t say he has shocked us by retiring, you know he left us and I can’t say he should’ve joined another team in the league you know,” added Hunt.

“Look, I heard the news and I can’t really say much about his personality or conduct when it comes to his stay with us. He didn’t stay much, it was just short, but he was a good professional and carried himself well,” noted the former Seven Stars mentor.

Hunt also commented on Pienaar's opportunities beyond playing the beautiful game.

“Yeah look, it is a tough one to say he can be a coach or something, it’s difficult to say or comment on that one,” said the 51-year-old.

“I really don’t know what are his plans going forward and it’s tough because of his short stay with us,” he concluded.

Pienaar made only six league appearances for Wits under Hunt.