Usuthu plan squad revamp with Mothwa’s future secured

AmaZulu captain Veli Mothwa was tied down for at least another two seasons. | BackpagePix

AmaZulu captain Veli Mothwa was tied down for at least another two seasons. | BackpagePix

Published Jul 10, 2024


Smiso Msomi

AmaZulu FC have kicked off their preparations for the 2024/25 campaign with intentions to revitalise and refresh their squad for head coach Pablo Martin’s second season.

One of the major decisions already made by the Usuthu is to lock down club captain Veli Mothwa for at least another two seasons. There had been suggestions that the Bafana Bafana international would remain at Usuthu as no discussions were initiated in the final six months of last season.

The rumour mill went into overdrive as he watched on from the bench for more than seven games as coach Martin preferred the young Olwethu Mzimela shortly before the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

However, the club’s public relations officer, Philani Ndlela, revealed that the club never considered Mothwa’s exit, given his role at the club.

“He’s the club captain, a massive leader in the dressing room and has a lot to contribute on the field as well as making the dressing room easier for younger players. We saw the rumours but we were never in doubt of his capabilities and his continuation at the club,” he said.

The club has released a few of the experienced heads from last season, however, as defender Veluyeke Zulu joined midfielder George Maluleke and forwards Victor Letsoalo and Chidi Kwem at the exit door.

The only signing confirmed at the moment is that of Durban-born 28-year-old striker Senzo “Mbhobho” Ndlovu from the ABC Motsepe Foundation Championship after he had a remarkable campaign in the Eastern Cape region.

Ndlela explained that the club was now seeking younger alternatives to revive its ambitions after finishing in 11th last season, just two points off a top-eight place.

He also revealed that Martin is currently occupied with the task of assessing quite a few new faces who are in trial at their KwaZulu-Natal training base.

“We are looking at refreshing our team this season. Our four-year cycle has ended and that means we need to press reset and kick-start another one,” he said.

“The coach still has a number of trialists he’s looking at right now in training as well as quite a few Diski boys, and will make those decisions in no time.

“But at the core of our recruitment strategy, we are looking at players around the 19- to 21-year age group as well as handing KZN players an opportunity to perform, like you saw with the signing of Mbhobho.”