Overhaul at AmaZulu as 13 new signings are introduced

2013-08-06 00:00

PSL football

AMAZULU and Orlando Pirates are the only two clubs that have not kicked off their PSL seasons as yet, due to the Soweto giants’ participation in the CAF Champions League last weekend, but the sides are preparing to lock horns at FNB Stadium on Thursday night.

AmaZulu have completely overhauled their personnel, and yesterday unveiled 13 new signings as coach Craig Rosslee looks to consolidate a position in the top half of the table following a disappointing 2012/13 campaign that saw the Durban outfit fight off relegation worries to finish 12th.

One of the more high-profile acquisitions is that of defensive midfielder Letladi Madubanya, who has joined from Bloemfontein Celtic. The 29-year-old spoke to media at Moses Mabhida stadium yesterday, and said that preparations for the new campaign had gone well.

“The team are very ambitious and we have been working very hard,” said Madubanya. “We have a plan and the coach has been getting us all on the same page.”

For Rosslee, the influx of so many new faces has brought about a new atmosphere on the training field.

“The new players have raised the competitiveness of the players and there has been a definite increase in work ethic,” said Rosslee. “There is a seriousness and maturity about the team now.”

Newcastle-born defender Sfiso Hlanti, Lunga Zondi (both Thanda Royal Zulu) and striker Sthembiso Ngcobo (on loan from Kaizer Chiefs) are among the most exciting of Rosslee’s arrivals. But the coach confirmed yesterday that there are still a couple of issues over work permits and registration forms for some of the players that he hoped would be resolved before the Pirates clash.

With striker Terror Fanteni still on trial at the club, Rosslee confirmed that he was still very much in the market for a finisher. He hadn’t ruled out the possibility of signing a foreign player to support the likes of Ayanda Dlamini, Bongani Ndulula and Ngcobo up front.

Turning his attention to Thursday night, Rosslee was optimistic that his side could upset the odds and come away from Soweto with something to show for their efforts.

“Obviously, Pirates will be a tough way to start the season,” he said.

“Hopefully with our new additions we can match them on the pitch. Our philosophy is to win at home and try and get something out of the matches when we are away.”

On his ambitions for the season, the coach would not set a desired log position or overall points haul as his target.

“My goal is for us to play attacking, entertaining football and grow the supporter base of this football club,” he said. “I want to create a history at AmaZulu. This [the new signings] is just the start. We will keep strengthening the squad and the technical staff in the future.”

Yesterday also served as an opportunity for Usuthu to announce a three-year deal with kit manufacturers Kappa, who unveiled the club’s new green home strip.

• Thursday night’s match kicks off at 7 pm and will be televised on SuperSport 4.

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