DURBAN – Marc Van Heerden has seen in all with AmaZulu, but a winner’s medal is the only missing puzzle in his list of happy memories with Usuthu.
Van Heerden was the part of the Usuthu team which went all the way to the final of the Nedbank Cup and succumbed to a 3-0 thumping defeat against Bidvest Wits at FNB Stadium.
The powerfully-built left back was also present when AmaZulu were relegated in 2014/15.
The last time AmaZulu lifted a trophy was back in 1992 when they defeated Kaizer Chiefs 3-1 in the final of the Coca-Cola Cup - the same competition that is sponsored by Telkom now.
Van Heerden want his side to rewrite history and follow on the footsteps of the class of 92.
But they have to first get past Cape Town City.
Usuthu will face the Citizens tonight at 7.30pm at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi in the last 16 tie of the Telkom Knockout.
“Our mindset is key in this competition. We want to do well for this club and fight for the badge,” Van Heerden said.
Usuthu is one of the oldest sides in the country but they have underachieved over the years.
“We have to look at the prestige of this club and also what they have won. We have to take some sort of motivation from that crop of 1992 players. It is an inspiration to win something. You got to take that inspiration and apply it to your knowledge and understanding and try and do your best to copy or replicate what they did. If you can do that and then you can write your name in to the history books,” he added.
In 2010, Usuthu lost to Wits in the final of the Nedbank Cup.
“What worked for us in 2010 was the hunger to win. We had that brotherhood mentality on the field of play. Every single person gave 150%. We wanted to achieve something. If we can stick together as brothers and as teammates in the field and put our mind to achieving something and giving it our all, I think it will be great recipe for success,” Van Heerden elaborated.
Van Heerden made his return to Usuthu at the start of the season after having spells with Chippa United and Orlando Pirates.
“AmaZulu are close to my heart. This where I spent most of my years playing football. At the age of 30, I still feel like I’m young. It is definitely time to contribute more to this club. For many years people have been calling us a sleeping giant. It is really time that we wake this giant up,” Van Heerden explained.
Usuthu is facing an uphill battle against the Cape Town City side which is still brimming with confidence after winning the MTN8.
“You’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Cape Town City have done well in cups and they’ve got a good crop of players. They have a good coach in Benni who has played at the highest level. He has got his coaching badges and all that stuff.
You got to respect them but at the same time it is XI vs XI on the field. It is about going out and say we are mentally strong. Let us match each other pound for pound and may the best man win. “