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HomeDStv PremiershipChiefs Coach Reveals 'Huge' Hunt Influence

Chiefs Coach Reveals ‘Huge’ Hunt Influence

Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Dillon Sheppard has opened up on the influential role Gavin Hunt played over his football career towards his latest role at the Soweto giants.

Sheppard was confirmed as the assistant to head coach Arthur Zwane last week with the two young coaches previously part of the technical team of previous coaches Stuart Baxter and Hunt.

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While they have notably stated they will come in with a different philosophy and playing style as their predecessors, the former Bafana Bafana star opened up on what Hunt did for him towards securing a major role at the one of the biggest club’s in African football.

“Huge, Huge credit [must go to Gavin Hunt], he gave me my debut at Seven Stars when I was 18, I played 25 games in my first season, funny enough he came to me and said, you playing the next five games, doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you playing just get it our your head,” Sheppard said in response to iDiski Times.

“I played the five games, it wasn’t the greatest – but 25 games later that season that was the start of my career so yeah he played a huge role and also for my coaching, I came to the end of my contract [at Wits], he came to me and said you’re retiring, I think it was at this stadium [FNB] where we won the league in the 2016/17 season.

“He just said no you’re retiring and I said ‘oh okay’, I thought I could still have played until I was 40, to be honest, it is what it is. But I was already coaching which made the transition really easy and then he said come work with me as a second assistant and you can work as the coach with the DStv Diski Challenge squad.”

He continued: “I was still the U17 coach at the time, so I said okay and that’s where it started, so he played a huge role getting me into coaching, at the DDC he was always there supporting me. In the bubble when I told him about these youngsters need to come in the bubble as he was like unsure… but the rest is history.

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“But now you see the Rowan Human, Mpho Mathebula, Janovane September all in the PSL as we talk – so ya he played a huge role, a huge, huge role and then I assisted him here, sometimes it works, sometimes it. doesn’t but that’s football – that’s football so yeah.”

Chiefs have already signed three players as part of their squad rebuild and released 11 as well as parting ways with goalkeeper coach Lee Baxter this week.

Story by: Lorenz Köhler

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.