DURBAN - Independent Media soccer writer Kamlesh Gosai has looked at AmaZulu and how they could fare in the Premiership this season.
Key player: Siyabonga Nomvethe
Veteran striker Siyabonga Nomvethe was the club’s top scorer in the National First Division (NFD) last season with 17 goals. If at 39 years he could mix it with the youngsters then a return to the PSL won’t pose problems.
Besides the vital goals he will score as he looks to take up sole position of the all-time Premier Soccer League (PSL) scorers - which he currently shares with Mamelodi Sundowns' retired legende Daniel Mambush Mudau - his legendary status makes him the ideal role model for the club’s younger players.
Coach: Cavin Johnson
Johnson took over the team just more than a week before the league kick-off. Compared to the man he replaces, Zimbabwean Joey Antipas, Johnson brings much needed familiarity of the top flight, the coach having worked extensively at Platinum Stars. He has also had a stint at SuperSport and is a renowned believer in young talent having worked at the School of Excellence plus the Sundowns development side. That could be valuable in Usuthu’s PSL return.
Former Platinum Stars and Supersport United Coach, Cavin Johnson has been appointed as AmaZulu Head Coach with immediate effect.
In Nomvethe, fellow striker Mabhuti Khenyeza, new recruits Michael Morton and Boalefa Pule as well as coach Cavin Johnson they have a core of experienced personnel who understand the demands of the division.
It’s a new team, which has changed the coach less than a fortnight before the league starts. That and the inexperience of many of their players might count against them.
Retaining their top-flight status
Best: 7th in 2012;
Worst: relegated in 2015
Goalkeepers: Energy Murambadoro, Boalefa Pule, Siyabonga Mbatha. Defenders: Tapelo Nyongo, Mbongeni Gumede, Vukile Mngqibisa, Phumlani Dlamini, Ayabulela Konqobe, Sadat Ouro-Akoriko, Thembela Sikhakhane. Midfielders: Nkanyiso Zungu, Boysen Mbatha, Butholezwe Ncube, Lungelo Dlamini, Sibusiso Magaqa, Samuel Darpoh, Augustine Ramphele, Ovidy Karuru, Michael Morton, Jabulani Ncobeni, Sduduzo Dlamini, Siyethemba Mnguni, Skhumbuzo Mazibuko. Strikers: Siyabonga Nomvethe, Mabhuti Khenyeza, Mhlengi Cele, Somila Ntshundwana.