AmaZulu and Marumo Gallants will open their campaigns in CAF interclub games, starting with Usuthu in their preliminary round Champions League fixture in Durban on Friday.
AmaZulu head coach Benni McCarthy said his team wants to continue the winning spirit that has engulfed the country following Bafana Bafana’s positive start in the World Cup qualifiers during the just-concluded Fifa break.
It’s almost time for the big clash. Send your last-minute shoutouts and wish the team best of luck in today’s BIG Match.— AmaZulu FC (@AmaZuluFootball) September 10, 2021
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??? Moses Mabhida
?? Catch the game live on our Facebook page #HebeUsuthu#UsuthuTogether pic.twitter.com/AKyzVpAp5X
Usuthu will host Nyasa Bullets from Malawi in the first of their preliminary round games at Moses Mabhida Stadium at 5pm.
“It was a good international break. Everyone is in a good mood after Bafana won against Ghana,” said McCarthy, referring to the national team’s 1-0 win over the Black Stars on Monday.
“We have been working on many aspects of our game and how to deal with the physicality of [other] African teams. We have also tried new formations. There are butterflies in the stomach for this CAF journey. We are ready, and hopefully we can make the country proud like Bafana did.”
AmaZulu, who have undergone a revival since KwaZulu-Natal businessperson Sandile Zungu bought the club last year, qualified for the Champions League after finishing second in the DStv Premiership to Mamelodi Sundowns.
The appointment of McCarthy has also brought some life into the club as Usuthu seek to revive their tradition-steeped legacy.
The 43-year-old tactician admits that they are going into the clash with little intel on their opponents.
“It will be tricky because we don’t know much about the opposition. We have managed to get a few clips of them playing, but it is not enough. They are big boys and are quite physical. We want to avoid giving them set-pieces because they have the height advantage,” McCarthy said.
Gallants, meanwhile, have travelled to Equatorial Guinea for their Confederation Cup first-leg match against Futuro Kings FC on Saturday.
The Limpopo club surprised many by qualifying for the continental club competition when they booked their ticket by lifting the Nedbank Cup.
At the time, Gallants went by the name Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM). The name of the club was changed to Gallants this season, while TTM has since re-emerged in the first division after they acquired the status of Royal AM who, in turn, bought Bloemfontein Celtic.
Gallants owner Abram Sello said: “We’ll go all-out with our boys to represent the province and the country, and we’ll work harder to put a smile on the faces our supporters. We truly appreciate all the support and we’ll meet when we come back.”