Tuesday, 12 January 2021 18:53

Staff Reporter.

Photo Credit: Muzi Ntombela.

Benni McCarthy will come up against his old coach Gavin Hunt for an eighth time when AmaZulu host Kaizer Chiefs in Durban on Wednesday and has a winning record against his old mentor.

It it will be the first time they face each other in their new colors after both changed jobs with Hunt taking over at Chiefs after Bidvest Wits folded, at the end of last season, and McCarthy returning to South Africa last month to take over at AmaZulu.

McCarthy says they will take some positives into their encounter with Chiefs after coming from behind to hold Celtic. 

"It is two games for me, four points, it is not a bad start. Now we turn our focus onto the midweek game against Kaizer Chiefs at home," McCarthy said. 

"But we take so many positives from this. We will try and do the same but the chances we create, we must put in the back of the net." 

McCarthy was a fresh-faced 17-year-old when Hunt first coached him at Cape Town club Seven Stars, but they never worked together again, as McCarthy went off to forge a successful career overseas, but the respect was all too evident when they came up against each other as rival coaches for the first time just over three years ago now.

McCarthy made his coaching debut against his mentor for Cape Town City and won 1-0 away over Bidvest Wits in the first match of the new league season in August 2017.

That was quickly followed by home and away wins in the MTN8 semifinal as McCarthy had it over Hunt two more times in quick succession and took City to the cup final.

Then in the first round of the Nedbank Cup in February 2018, McCarthy won again on the road in Johannesburg to take a 4-0 lead over Hunt before losing in the league at home a few weeks later.

Meanwhile Chiefs have been dealt a massive blow with the news that striker Khama Billiat will miss the next two months of the season with a leg fracture.

The ailing AmaKhosi will also be without fellow forward Leonardo Castro for the trip to AmaZulu in the DStv Premiership on Wednesday as the woes for coach Hunt continue after what has been a disastrous start to the domestic campaign.

The loss of Billiat for an extended period will be a huge headache for Hunt, who is unable to sign players in the January transfer window because of a ban imposed on the club by Fifa.

The club also confirmed that Castro has an abdominal strain and will miss the AmaZulu game, though they did not say how long he will be out for.

Such is the congested fixture list that Billiat could miss as many as 13 matches in all competitions if he is out for the two months.

Better news is that midfielder Kearyn Baccus has returned from injury and is available for selection, while right-back Reeve Frosler nears a return as he has started running on the training pitch.

Baccus has not played in the PSL since November 21, while Frosler has been missing since two weeks before that.