Vilakazi sends a warning to Bay’s opponents

VUSUMUZI Vilakazi, coach of Richards Bay FC, during the 2024 Nedbank Cup press conference at Umhlanga Rocks. | BackpagePix

VUSUMUZI Vilakazi, coach of Richards Bay FC, during the 2024 Nedbank Cup press conference at Umhlanga Rocks. | BackpagePix

Published Feb 24, 2024


RICHARDS Bay head coach Vusumuzi ‘VV’ Vilakazi has sent a stern warning to every team set to face his side in the second round of the 2023/24 season.

The Natal Rich Boyz are putting their final touches to test in the Nedbank Cup last-32 clash against Polokwane City at the King Zwelithini Stadium in uMlazi this afternoon at 6pm.

Following a topsy-turvy opening stanza of the season for both the club and Vilakazi personally, Bay’s fate of surviving relegation as well as setting up another cup run now rests on the 41-year-old mentor.

The club currently occupy 15th spot on the DStv Premiership table, six points away from bottom-placed Cape Town Spurs but also six from Royal AM who sit above them.

Having managed just three league wins as well as a dreamy trot to the semi-finals of the Carling Knockout Cup, Richards Bay are ready to kick on under Vilakazi.

The former Golden Arrows man took over the reins from Kaitano Tembo in December and managed a win against SuperSport United in the league before going on the Africa Cup of Nations break.

Speaking to the media ahead of their Nedbank Cup match, “Kanu” said he felt his players received the mental rejig they needed during the six-week break and he was already seeing the effects.

“The break was good for us because we needed to restructure not only physically but from a psychological perspective because these players lost a teammate and that’s not child’s play. When someone loses their life in front of you, you are bound to crack psychologically,” he said.

“During the break we tried to help them get their belief back and it showed in the last game (against Sekhukhune). We’re playing on another level and we’re gonna get the results.

“The team went on a very good run in the Carling Black Label and reached the semi-finals, and we will give the Nedbank Cup the same respect. So if we advance to the next round of this competition, I’m just saying teams should watch out because this team is something else now.”

Richards Bay did not get their 2024 off to a good start as they lost 3-1 to Sekhukhune in Polokwane a week ago.

Now they prepare to face a Rise and Shine outfit back in the top flight for the first time in five years.

Vilakazi warned his men about the kind of mentality they’ll carry into the game as he felt they needed to adopt a winning trend among the group, one that will aid their course in league action as well.

“I think we can’t take them for granted. They’re playing in the same league as us, we need to maintain professionalism. If we want to get away from relegation, we have to adopt a winning mentality and that comes with winning games irrespective of the team you are playing at the time,” he said.