Play hard and have fun, Usuthu told

2010-05-22 00:00

AMAZULU FC are on the road to winning their third major title — if Bidvest Wits does not interfere with their plans to win the Nedbank Cup tomorrow at Soccer City after 18 years without a cup.

In an interview with The Witness, Simon Magagula, once a fierce striker for Usuthu, which won the inaugural Coca-Cola Cup, said, “AmaZulu is such a big team and winning this final would be a tremendous boost for the players ahead of the new season.

“Since Neil Tovey took over the reins as coach of AmaZulu FC, there may have been hiccups in the beginning. However, the team has finally found its momentum to play as a unit.

“Under Clive Barker, Amazulu won their first-ever Coca-Cola Cup trophy, beating favourites Kaizer Chiefs 3-1 in the final, in 1992. I remember that victory vividly because I was part of the squad that won,” said Magagula.

He said the woes at AmaZulu camp started when Clive Barker was called on to coach the national team in 1994.

When Barker left, the team languished because there was no consistency from the club’s ownership and management.

“Building a team takes time. If they don’t change the current squad, but rather build on it slowly, we might see Usuthu being an entirely different side altogether,” said Magagula.

Being in Pretoria has not changed him, he said: he is still a staunch Usuthu supporter because the team was his home for eight years.

“My advice to the players is that they must just cool it down and stay focused so that they win this cup.

“I remember before the final in 1992, we used a lot of umuthi to get us prepared for the big game.” They used a lot of umuthi because Kaizer Chiefs were also big users of it, he said, but the most important thing was to concentrate on soccer practices.

The former striker told his side: “Go out there and work hard, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself. I’m with you guys all the way and just believe in yourself.”

AmaZulu have only two cups in their cabinet, the Keg League Cup and Coca-Cola Cup. Now all eyes will be on Ayanda Dlamini, their top goal scorer, to seal this one.

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