AmaZulu excited for continental football with Benni McCarthy at the helm
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DURBAN – AmaZulu President Sandile Zungu not only reiterated his stance that his club never planned to release coach Benni McCarthy but also stated that the KZN-based club plan to hold their first-ever end-of-season awards ceremony to honour the players for their hard work, which will be televised for fans.
Usuthu coach McCarthy who has drawn plenty of praise this season had been tipped to succeed Molefi Ntseki as Bafana Bafana coach, prior to the role being fulfilled by Belgian Hugo Broos earlier this week.
Zungu dismissed the media reports linking McCarthy to the Bafana job as speculative stating that his club was not planning to release their head coach, adding that they are looking forward to the prospect of continental football next season.
“AmaZulu are very excited about playing continental football. What better way to display patriotism than to go into the continent and play against our peers? Next season, we will look to strengthen in the transfer market,” said Zungu.
When McCarthy was appointed Usuthu coach in December, Usuthu was struggling with just seven points from their opening six games. They have since gone on to reach 50 points, following their recent win over Golden Arrows, marking the first time in the PSL era that they have reached the milestone.
McCarthy has exceeded expectations of both fans and pundits alike in getting Usuthu to second in the standings, punching above the target assigned to him by Zungu which was a top-four finish.
However, the Bafana Bafana legend has said that he always aimed for more than just a top-four finish.
“As a coach, you have your own ambitions as well. I said I will do my best to reach the top four target but I have my own ambitions as well. We ended up making it the players' ambition that we can compete against anyone. If you look at our matches, we only focus on ourselves on the field,” he said.
McCarthy said that should Usuthu play in the Champions League next season, they will look to strengthen certain areas of their team, though the core of their squad will be rewarded for their hard work and remain the same.
“We don’t want any Tom, Dick, and Harry coming into the team. We have to work with what the club has. We try to make the players better and when they have unity, they play better. I can’t see AmaZulu losing the next few games and the Champions League may be coming.
We have to scout and see which new players we can bring in but we won’t make wholesale changes. There will be a few new faces coming in but the players who got us here will be rewarded for their hard work,” said McCarthy.