BY FORTUNE MBELE
WARRIORS’ talisman Khama Billiat believes his new Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt will bring the best out of him following his struggles last season.
Billiat endured one of his worst seasons since he moved to South Africa, which attracted a barrage of attacks from the South African media.
He said Hunt had already started helping him to get back to his best.
The Warriors attacker is quoted on Kaizer Chiefs’ official website saying he has always wanted to work with the former Bidvest Wits’ gaffer who replaced Ernst Middendorp.
“I’ve always wanted to work with him (Hunt). He is a great coach who knows how to win. We have seen him while coaching other clubs, that no player is ever guaranteed to play. He is a coach who brings the best out of you,” Billiat said.
He said Hunt had brought in a new atmosphere and different energy at the club.
“He makes players feel happy and that’s what we needed. You can feel it at training, there is a different energy,” he said, adding: “He made clear what he expected from me.”
Amakhosi are back at training following the two-week break after the conclusion of the 2019-2020 season, narrowly missing on the title, which they surrendered to Mamelodi Sundowns in the dying stages of the league programme, leading to Middendorp’s sacking.
The South African premier football league, now sponsored by MultiChoice DStv after financial institution Absa pulled out, is expected to start its 2020-2021 season next month.
That will be a month before the Warriors engage Algeria in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on November 9 and 17.
Billiat said pre-season was not his favourite pastime as it involved a lot of physical activity, but admitted it had to be done to be “ready for the new season”. He also commented about the just-ended season and new challenges ahead.
“We had a good season as a team. We came so close to winning the league. It means that we have the soldiers and the capacity to succeed. We have to challenge ourselves to do just a bit more,” he said.
He believes Hunt brings along new ideas which will help the team.
“A new coach will bring in different things, which is good. Challenges always bring the best out of us, players. We all want to do better than last season,” the Warriors’ man said.
Since he moved to South Africa in 2010, where he has also played for Ajax Cape Town and Sundowns, his career has taken a dip at Kaizer Chiefs, a club he joined in 2018 from The Brazilians.
He won two league titles with Mamelodi Sundowns and the Caf Champions League in 2016.
In 2016, he was voted the PSL Player of the Season and the PSL Players’ Player of the Season after capping a fine performance in the 2015-2016 season.