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SuperSport United Season Preview 23/24

SuperSport finished third last season under Gavin Hunt, who reinvigorated his coaching career after failed spells at Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa United.

Supersport United

SuperSport finished third last season under Gavin Hunt, who reinvigorated his coaching career after failed spells at Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa United. With an unbeaten home record but an ailing set of away results, a top two finish proved a bridge too far. With another key player in Thapelo Maseko sold to Sundowns, can Hunt repeat last season’s success despite the added strain of continental action? With some great signings on board, is an unlikely title challenge on the cards?


Last season was a very strong one from SuperSport. Gavin Hunt’s return to the club and his simpler game plan – with the coach’s dislike for football jargon – suited the players and led to a genuine challenge for a top two finish. That was no mean feat when you consider that Ronwen Williams and Sipho Mbule were sold in the off-season and a number of loanees arrived to fill the gaps. It didn’t take long for the decorated coach to build a good side and get up a head of steam. After the first four results in the league read DLLD, the next ten fixtures brought eight wins going into the turn of the year. 

By the end, SuperSport had gone the entire season unbeaten at home despite disruption in that regard as Lucas Moripe Stadium could not be used for the final few home fixtures. Their record on their own turf read 10 wins and five draws, but they were heavily reliant on home points and genuinely struggled on their travels at times. Their 15 away matches only yielded 16 points for the eighth best record away from home. The side failed to win any of their final eight away matches with five blanks fired in that time. In fact, from the first 15 fixtures to the final 15 fixtures, they scored six fewer goals despite bringing in Zakhele Lepasa on loan (who initially looked good, before Gavin Hunt stopped really using him).

The biggest triumph of the season was how Hunt helped three players breath new energy into their careers. Grant Margeman and Siphesihle Ndlovu formed a brilliant midfield partnership having been unable to get regular game time at Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates respectively. Thulani Hlatshwayo arrived after an ill-fated time at Pirates which saw the two parties mutually terminate his contract. He had a fine campaign at the back without being asked to perform elaborate buildup routines that highlight his weaknesses.

The other impressive aspect of the season was Hunt’s faith in young players. The coach has never cared about age, both in terms of blooding kids and trusting veterans, and Thapelo Maseko was a big beneficiary. The young left-footed winger excelled down both flanks and even as a left wingback on occasion and this sparked bids from Westerlo in Belgium. He eventually joined Sundowns in this window for a blockbuster fee said to be in the region of R 20 million. Kegan Johannes was another player who was fully trusted at the back and he should go from strength to strength this season.


As with most windows, SuperSport have had a lot of players come through the door and a lot of their fringe players depart. As it stands, they have done some excellent business but the squad is currently pretty small and needs some depth ahead of competing in the CAF Confederations Cup.

Thatayaone Ditlhokwe has left on a free transfer to Kaizer Chiefs and the club have moved decisively to replace him with Bafana Bafana international Siyanda Xulu at centre back. The last time he played in the PSL, he was struggling to perform and even make the starting XI at Maritzburg United. Now 31 years old, he will partner with Hlatshwayo and hopefully ensure that SuperSport remains very hard to break down. The big sale of Maseko to Sundowns brought more than just a large transfer fee. Grant Margeman has come as part of the deal with his loan turned into a permanent move. Also coming in is Nigerian striker, Etiosa Godspower Ighodaro on loan from Downs. He is great in the air and netted 10 goals for relegation-battling Chippa United last season.

Other major coups were keeping Ndlovu in midfield and adding Phathutshedzo Nange to increase competition in that area. Few clubs have an engine room as strong as SuperSport’s. CEO Stan Matthews has also managed to acquire Terrence Dzvukamanja from Orlando Pirates on a free transfer. He has worked with Hunt before at BidVest Wits, is brilliant at scoring headers from crosses and was a first choice at Pirates. If he is used centrally, the forward could be one of the best signings of the window.


*Realistic options to play regularly – excludes fringe players

*Accurate up to 31 July 2023

If we take a detailed look at Matsatsantsa’s squad, we can see how thin one particular area is. They’ve added Ronald Pfumbidzai as a solid addition at left back and they’re more than covered in goal and across the back four, especially when Luke Fleurs is fully fit after injury. We’ve already spoken about the midfield and how Nange adds competition, whilst Jesse Donn (for now) and Thalente Mbatha are still part of the options available.

With Bradley Grober, Dzvukamanja and Ighodaro, the front two places are very strong. The issue is on the flanks. Gavin Hunt loves wingers but he has seen both Maseko and Patrick Maswanganyi depart. A top left winger is desperately needed to service the front two so don’t rule out a late bid for someone like Deon Hotto at Orlando Pirates. Hunt may also use his eye for talent to find a couple of unknowns to play down the flanks as it’s basically just Ghampani Lungu in terms of established options right now.


Without doubt, SuperSport have had a great window until now. They look strong in goal, well stocked at the back and have upgraded their midfield. In attack, all of Grobler, Dzvukamanja and Ighodaro bring different things but are capable of hitting double figures for goals. The only missing piece of the squad right now is down the flanks. If Hunt and Stan Matthews can sort out that area, then the club could be an outside bet to give Sundowns a challenge.

Realistically, no one is going to actually win the league besides Rhulani Mokwena’s charges but having even a vague title race would be the good for neutrals and the league at large. The one potential spanner in the works is SuperSport’s participation in continental action and how that may stretch their resources and divide their focus. It’s also clear that away results have to be miles better than last season.

Best Possible Finish: Second

Worst possible finish: FIFTH

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