AmaZulu bolster squad with the addition of five experienced campaigners
JOHANNESBURG - AmaZulu have bolstered their squad with the addition of five experienced campaigners for the new season, including former Kaizer Chiefs star Simphiwe Tshabalala.
Tshabalala, Makhehleni Makhaula, Siphelele Mthembu, Luyovo Memela, and Augustine Mulenga were unveiled at a media briefing in Durban on Monday.
The move sees Tshabalala returning to competitive action after more than a year. He had been inactive since May 2019 after his spell with Turkish club BB Erzurumspor ended. The 36-year-old will also be reuniting with former Chiefs team-mates Lehlohonolo Majoro and Tsepo Masilela at Usuthu.
Other players unveiled by AmaZulu yesterday were Sicelo Mkhize, Siphelele Nene, Limbikani Mzava and 20-year-old Samkelo Mgwazela.
The signings form part of the vision of new AmaZulu chairman Sandile Zungu to rebuild Usuthu into a giant of South African football. Zungu emphasized that he is hoping for the club to finish in the top four of the DSTV Premiership in the upcoming season as well as have sustained runs in the Cup competitions.
Despite having one of the richest histories and traditions in South African top-flight football, the KZN club flirted with relegation last season before a late season resurgence under coach Ayanda Dlamini led to them finishing in 13th spot.
Zungu added that the club will assess its strengths and weaknesses during the first few games of the upcoming campaign before deciding whether they will bring in further signings.
Dlamini was happy with the signings and said that his team are ready for their opening league season clash against Orlando Pirates on Saturday.
“I’m very excited by the signings. I’m very happy with the way in which the chairman (Zungu) moved to secure them. We are ready for our first game against Orlando Pirates. We have to now go out on the field and compete,” said Dlamini.
Dlamini added that the signings will increase the strength in depth of the team.
“A coach's job should never be easy. We are happy that we have more options. The players will have to compete for places in the team,” he added.
While AmaZulu’s first-team roster now boasts many first-team campaigners, Dlamini said that Siyabonga Mbatha will remain club captain.