New Amazulu coach vows to reward long-suffering fans

2010-07-02 00:00

NEWLY appointed AmaZulu coach Manqoba Mngqithi has promised exciting football that will yield success to reward the management and long- suffering fans.

Mngqithi made this bold promise while speaking to The Witness shortly after being confirmed as Neil Tovey’s replacement yesterday in Durban.

Tovey was sacked on Monday as head coach following differences with management over the club’s vision.

Coming on board on a three-year contract after three years with Lamontville Golden Arrows, Mngqithi exuded confidence.

He said in a in his statement, “I’m very excited to join a team with such great history in South African soccer and with a fantastic supporter base. I’m happy to be joining another club in KZN — I wouldn’t have liked to leave the province where I know the culture of the players, so I’m very happy with this move. I believe that the style of football I bring to the club will have a lot to offer to the suppor­ters.”

During his time with MTN8 champions Abafana Bes’thende, the former school teacher proved himself an astute judge of raw talent as he unco­vered a string of local gems, an attribute that will fit hand in glove at Usuthu, where an emphasis is also placed on developing young players from the surrounding areas.

The eloquent 39-year old Mngqithi, who has undertaken trips to Brazil and Spain to further his football knowledge, will be assisted by former Kaizer Chiefs striker-turned-assis­tant Fani Madida, who replaces Calvin Petersen.

Mngqithi said leaving Arrows, with whom he had been since 2007, was not easy. “I developed good relationship with [chairperson] Mato Madlala and enjoyed good rapport with the players. I will look back with pride, but at the same time, I felt I had to move on.”

The coach believes the right balance of youth and experience will be key to Usuthu.

“It is my philosophy and my belief that the best players come from the youth and I’m very excited because AmaZulu also have a Vodacom side which will be a very good feeder team for the first-team squad.

“I’m hopeful that I will be able to bring in new young players into the team because my style of play requires a lot of energy and speed.

“At the same time, though, it’s also very encouraging to know that AmaZulu have good experience within their ranks at the moment who will bring in a very good balance to the team.”

Club operational manager Peter O’Connor said they have tasked Mngqithi to meet two objectives in his first season: “Get us into the top four and win us one cup. We foresee good times for the club because we will give him a chequebook to bolster the team.

“The key areas that he felt needs urgent attention are both full backs, central defence, central midfield and consistent striker. He has the management’s support all the way.”

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