fast little loans
The new additions to the AmaZulu squad couldn’t have asked for a bigger opponent than Manchester United to show their value to the club.
Liberian international midfielder Dulee Johnson was the biggest name unveiled by the Durban club on Monday. Johnson, along with striker Sifiso Vilakazi and defender Prince Hlela, will make their debut in Usuthu’s new kit against the English travellers at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday night.
“This is one of the games that will prepare us for the league, and there’s nothing particular we are doing,” said coach Roger Palmgren. “But it’s a great honour to play one of the biggest teams in the world. At this time of the season these clubs play a lot of their younger players, and those guys run a lot. Hopefully our players can learn something.
“During our pre-season one of the toughest matches will be against Manchester United. It will be a good test to see how the new players perform. I’m not sure of his level of fitness but Dulee will get at least 30 minutes against United. My philosophy is to play the first team as much as possible.”
The MTN Football Invitational forms part of AmaZulu’s 80th anniversary celebrations, and they aim to kick it off on a positive note against United. While management hope for a top four finish and silverware in at least one knock-out competition, Palmgren said his target was simply to improve on last season’s seventh place in the Absa Premiership.
Johnson, 28, is set to fill the central midfield void created by the sale of Thamsanqa Sangweni to Mamelodi Sundowns. The Liberian is a league winner in Palmgren’s native Sweden, and comes to the PSL following spells in Greece, Israel and most recently the Netherlands where he turned out for De Graafschap.
He signed a two-year contract, along with Vilakazi and Hlela who arrived from Bidvest Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic respectively.
All going well, Usuthu could add more international firepower to their attack if Malawian striker Essau Kanyenda signs. The forward was linked to former club Jomo Cosmos and Moroka Swallows last season before he took up a short contract in Denmark. He started training with AmaZulu last week.
United arrived on Monday night. They will train at the match venue on Tuesday night and conclude their trip with a match against Ajax Cape Town in the Mother City on Saturday (3pm).