Injury blow for Chiefs ahead of season opener

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt admits he will be without two of his leading forwards “for some time” in the new season in a significant blow to the club at the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

Chiefs are set to host Maritzburg United in their MTN8 quarterfinal on Sunday, but must do so without strikers Samir Nurkovic and Leonardo Castro, who netted a combined 22 goals last term.

“I have a very good squad of players but a lot of them have been injured,” Hunt told reporters. “The top goalscorer Samir has been injured, he won’t play after his operation, he hasn’t been training for one day and he’ll be out for some time.

“Castro was also injured before the end of last season and he hasn’t trained much. They were the cornerstone of the team that did really well and that is a problem going forward.”

Hunt’s troubles are exacerbated by the fact that the club currently have a transfer ban imposed by Fifa in place, though they are hoping the Court of Arbitration for Sport will overturn it shortly.

“We’ll have to re-align ourselves, reshape ourselves to play to the strengths of the players we’ve got. I’ll try and do that and I’ll say it again, there’s six or seven coming into the reckoning to fill in for the injured players, the youngsters also.

“The ban is well documented, I knew about that coming here, but we’ll go forward, have belief in what we’ve got and play in a way that suits what we’ve got.”