DURBAN – They may have done their 67 minutes for Mandela last week, but AmaZulu would love nothing more than to benefit from some charity and good fortune by winning silverware, something they haven’t done since 1992.
That is 27 years, the same time the dearly departed South African statesman spent in imprisonment.
To get themselves out of ‘jail’ though, AmaZulu won’t need international support or local pressure placed on a stubborn, authoritarian leadership.
They will have to do it themselves, a fact general manager, Dr Lunga Sokhela, is well aware of.
“We will make it clear that there must be a trophy that we will bring home this season. We will work together to achieve that. It is not only the coach’s target. It is our target as a club, management, players and the supporters.”
Having failed to qualify for the MTN8 this coming season, Usuthu only have three competitions they can win - the Absa Premiership, the Telkom KO and the Nedbank Cup.
“We want to really compete in the cup competitions. With the ability that we have, and if our players can perform to their full potential by improving on our away and defensive records, we will be a force to be reckoned with. We’ve got enough fire-power up-front to score goals and be a very strong team.”
Usuthu’s last cup success was when they beat Kaizer Chiefs in the Coca-Cola Cup final. They were also in the 2010 Nedbank Cup final that marked the opening of the new FNB Stadium ahead of the Fifa World Cup but got hammered 3-0 by Roger de Sa’s Bidvest Wits.
While their focus is on the knockout competitions, which are much easier to win, Sokhela says they are going into the Premiership with the objective of unseating Mamelodi Sundowns as champions.
“We want to compete for the league this year. We will be fighting for the championship. We will go into every match with the mentality to win. There will be no game that we go into looking to settle for a point. Our plan is to be in the competition until the end.”
Usuthu, therefore, have beefed up their attack with the acquisitions of strikers Lehlohonolo Majoro and Andre de Jongh. The duo’s presence will increase the competition for the two starting berths in the strike-force, with Bongi Ntuli and Mhlemgi Cele also in the mix.
Whether that stiff competition can lead to AmaZulu ending their 27-year trophy drought, however, remains to be seen.@Minenhlecr7