Richards Bay on Vilakazi future: Why fix it if it’s not broken?

Lwandile Mabuya (centre) celebrates with his Richards Bay FC teammates after scoring the fourth goal against Baroka FC. Photo: BackpagePix

Lwandile Mabuya (centre) celebrates with his Richards Bay FC teammates after scoring the fourth goal against Baroka FC. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Jun 21, 2024


DStv Premiership side Richards Bay have begun plotting to secure Vusumuzi Vilakazi as their permanent coach after retaining their top flight status.

The Natal Rich Boyz closed their promotion-relegation play-off campaign in style as they ran riot against Motsepe Foundation Championship side Baroka FC and scored four unanswered goals in uMlazi on Wednesday.

Somila Ntsundwana grabbed a brace, with the other goals coming from Sanele Barns and Lwandile Mabuya.

The KwaZulu-Natal outfit ensured that they finished top of their mini-group above the University of Pretoria and Bakgakga Ba Mphahlele to ensure at least another season among the elite.

Vilakazi was roped in by the club in December on a six-month contract, initially as a senior coach, before taking over from Kaitano Tembo as the head coach.

Languishing in the relegation zone at the time, ‘Kanu’ was handed the responsibility of saving the club from the drop – a mission he has since achieved via the play-offs.

Amidst the excitement of the celebrations at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday, the media asked Vilakazi about his feelings regarding the club, and about any plans that might have already been discussed.

The 41-year-old expressed his relief over Richards Bay securing their status and added that discussions regarding his contract were yet to be held.

“Definitely (feeling settled), but we still have to sit down and talk with the chairman, obviously,” said Vilakazi.

“My contract has ended, but we will sit down and see. He did make a statement that if it’s not broken, why fix it?

“But that will depend on the talks we have, the negotiations that we will have with him and also try to align the team in terms of personnel to see who we can bring or release and stuff like that.”

Also among the club’s supporters, staff members and players’ families was the Richards Bay FC chairman, Jomo Biyela, who unusually afforded the media a few minutes of his time.

Biyela responded to various subjects relating to the team, but was especially optimistic about discussing the future of Vilakazi next season.

He revealed that Vilakazi should be rewarded for what he has achieved with the club and sees no reason why the Natal Rich Boyz should not discuss the matter of a new contract with him.

“The reality says, why fix it if it’s not broken?” said Biyela. “We will sit down with him and see how to make it a point that we finalise some of the things that we have to discuss.

“But there’s no reason (for him to leave). That’s another problem we have: following names, not coaches or people who can do work.

“I think we have learnt our lesson; why fix it if it’s not broken? He has done well; he took us from 12 points to 30 points with the very same players.

“Ours is to support him. We can’t just chase him away now that we are safe, then we act big.”