No regrets ... AmaZulu boss Sandile Zungu says firing Benni McCarthy was not a mistake

Benni McCarthy during his time at AmaZulu.

FILE - Benni McCarthy was fired by AmaZulu but went on to become an attacking coach at Manchester United. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Published Jun 28, 2023


Durban - AmaZulu president Sandile Zungu has waved away any questions of regret over the dismissal of ex-coach Benni McCarthy despite the club being on a downward spiral.

Usuthu released the former Bafana Bafana striker in the final stages of the 2021/2022 season on account of poor results.

McCarthy had become the first coach to ensure the club finished as high as second on the DStv premiership, also ensuring the club’s first-ever participation in the CAF Champions League.

The KwaZulu Natal-based club would enjoy relative success on the continent as they qualified for the group stages, but their campaign was clouded with poor results in the league.

McCarthy, now an attacking coach at Manchester United, openly stated that he would've appreciated more support from the club in terms of recruitment but instead, he was dismissed with the club still languishing outside the top eight.

Fast forward to the end of the 2022/2023 campaign, the club has survived relegation by just three points, finished 12th on the DStv premiership standings, and have had three men at the helm since McCarthy’s departure.

However, Usuthu boss Zungu said he does not wish he could undo the release of McCarthy and laid down the reasons behind his surprise sacking.

“To hire him was a great decision, especially in his first season. The second season...when we had discussions about what we were going to do about the final quarter,” Zungu told 947.

“ I said, 'Can you give me the commitment that we'll get into the top eight?' (Benni could not ensure) and I said, 'No, I'm not going to go forward without a commitment and when that commitment was not forthcoming I knew exactly what to do, to make changes that would guarantee me a top-eight finish.”

Zungu reiterated that his decision to rope in Brandon Truter as an interim head coach at the time to help salvage the club's season was the right thing to do.

“And I think employing Brandon Truter at the time was a great intervention and he secured us a top seven finish and it's now common cause that we played in our first final of a top eight format in more than 50 years or almost 50 years," Zungu said.

"So, if you ask me, under the circumstances, would I take the same decision? Absolutely. It takes nothing away from Benni as a personality, a great South African, he remains an icon.”


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