Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler and his Lamontville Golden Arrows counterpart Clinton Larsen were quick to offer their praise of new Absa Premiership champions BidVest Wits‚ saying they believe the club are deserved champions.
City were still in with a mathematical chance of being crowned champions going into last night’s 1-0 win over Golden Arrows‚ but Wits’ victory over Polokwane City ended those slender hopes.
For Tinkler it is a bittersweet moment as Wits is a club that did much to shape him as both a player and a coach.
As a young midfielder he started and ended his career there‚ and later acted as assistant and caretaker coach between 2005 and 2012.
“I said at the beginning of the season that Wits and Sundowns were the favourites for the title and when you looked at the depth and quality that Wits have‚ you assumed they stood a fantastic chance‚” Tinkler said.
“Congratulations to Gavin [Hunt] and everybody at Wits‚ I know they have been wanting it for a few years now.
“Now they’ve finally got it and deservedly so.
“That’s where my whole career started as a young promising footballer. They will always be in my heart as a club‚ so I am very happy for them.”
Larsen says he always felt that Hunt would win a title at Wits after making the move from SuperSport United in 2013‚ where he had won three league championships in a row between 2008 and 2010.
“Congratulations to Gavin and his boys. We knew at some stage he was going to do it‚” Larsen says.
“They made some very smart signings in my opinion and Gavin is a very astute coach‚ he has been in that position time and time again.
“We were speaking about it among our technical team and we knew that with three or four games to go and Gavin is in the front‚ there is absolutely no way he was going to let that slip. They fully deserve it.”