The Clever Boys have battled with knocks to key players all season, with the defence of their Absa Premiership title a complete shambles up to this point. Wits have, however, battled into the TKO final, and will face Phunya Sele Sele with as strong a squad as they have had all campaign.
Captain Thulani Hlatshwayo returned from injury to play in the goalless draw with Maritzburg United on the weekend, as did right back Nazeer Allie, and with Buhle Mkhwanazi back after a long-term injury, Wits finally have the back four that did much to win them the league last season.
“Before the team picked itself, now I can pick a team again, it is good,” said Hunt yesterday, with the Wits coach also confirming that midfielders Daylon Claasen and Ben Mothshwari are back again after injury.
“I think this weekend was the first time in about 16 games this year that I have had my whole defence. Hlatshwayo, Mkhwanazi, Allie and Hlanti, they were the bedrock of the team (last season).”
Hunt also has a boost in attack this weekend, as striker Gabadinho Mhango returns after a six-match ban for spitting at AmaZulu midfielder Michael Morton.
“We have needed a guy like him, he gives us pace, he is not in the greatest goalscoring form … he started great last year but then went off the boil, but he is a guy who gives us something different to what we have got, and that is important. We have been very static, if we had him the last couple of games, we might have got something,” added the Wits coach, who played down the idea of who might be favourites for Saturday’s Ziwa Mo final.
Celtic have looked in better form this season, even beating Wits 1-0 in the league in Mangaung in October, but it is Wits who have had the pedigree over the last few seasons, also winning last year’s MTN8.
“I don’t know, I don’t really worry about things like that,” he said.
“We played Sundowns last year (in the MTN8) and they were big favourites, they were champions. It is the small things in a game like this, as long as you do the small things well, everyone has an equal chance.”