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Today — May 14th 2021Your RSS feeds

McCarthy’s pick for Goalkeeper of the Season award – and it’s NOT Mothwa

May 13th 2021 at 16:17

AmaZulu head coach Benni McCarthy has made a bold prediction as to who the goalkeeper of the season will be this term.

In his opinion, McCarthy feels Denis Onyango will walk away with the accolade, simply because of Mamelodi Sundowns’ dominance this season.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS LATEST | GAVIN HUNT COMMENTS ON STUART BAXTER REPORTS

While McCarthy’s goalkeeper at AmaZulu, Veli Mothwa, has done tremendously well so far, the all-time Bafana Bafana goalscorer feels Onyango is the favourite for the award.

“I think Onyango would be a wise choice, should Sundowns win the league,” McCarthy told reporters.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS INJURY UPDATE | DOUBLE BLOW FOR HUNT AHEAD OF SIMBA CLASH

“Mothwa is a top, top goalkeeper, but you have to look at the log and if you see who’s sitting at the top.

“It is Sundowns and they are at the top because they have got a formidable squad and a very good goalkeeper, Onyango,” he said.

Mothwa joined Usuthu midway through the current season from Chippa United, McCarthy is of the view that they wouldn’t have been second on the PSL log had another goalkeeper been brought in.

READ | GAVIN HUNT: HUGE PSL MILESTONE FOR KAIZER CHIEFS COACH

“I have assessed the league and I have seen teams and goalkeepers,” McCarthy continued.

“You can play for AmaZulu and cannot have the performance that this guy [Mothwa] has had. Any other goalkeeper would have come to AmaZulu, I don’t think we would have had the season that we are having, so that tells a lot about the quality of Mothwa.

Furthermore, McCarthy doesn’t think Mothwa can be disappointed in himself if he doesn’t win the Goalkeeper of the Season award, adding that the 30-year-old doesn’t need an award to earn his respect.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS PREPARE MULTI-MILLION OFFER FOR SUPERSPORT UNITED STAR – REPORT

“If he doesn’t win the award, I don’t think he can be too disappointed because for me he’s been the best keeper this season and the most improved player.

“That alone makes him a winner. He doesn’t need to win any award to earn my respect,” concluded McCarthy.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS LATEST | GAMILDIEN TO AMAKHOSI IN THE NEWS AGAIN

Mothwa has kept 10 clean sheets in 24 league matches thus far while Onyango has kept 15 clean sheets from the same number of games.

Yesterday — May 13th 2021Your RSS feeds

Majoro not in McCarthy’s plans at Amazulu?

May 13th 2021 at 01:00

Veteran striker Lehlohonolo Majoro’s days at Amazulu are reported to be numbered, as coach Benni McCarthy looks ahead to the next season.

These reports may catch many off guards, however, as Majoro has essentially been an ever-present for Amazulu this season. Beyond his 23 league appearances so far this season, “The Major One” has seemed to roll back the years, with his eight goals in the DStv Premiership making him the clubs top goal scorer as things stand

McCarthy planning for life without Majoro

Now with reports that McCarthy is targeting a Caf Champions League spot, it is believed that he is targeting a fresh makeover of his squad, which will include younger legs. Despite his impressive statistics this season, at 34 years old Majoro clearly doesn’t fit that mould. It is believed to be for that reason that McCarthy is willing to cut his losses with regards to the seemingly resurgent striker.

Rumoured to be following the likes of other squad veterans

These news may not come as much of a surprise to the eagle-eyed readers who have been following the proceeding at Usuthu closely. Widespread murmurs from certain sections of the media have regularly made mention of the uncertain futures of veterans Siphiwe Tshabalala and Tsepho Masilela. It is believed that the two former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs players will be amongst the first to head towards the exit door.

A source who spoke to The Citizen seemed to concur.  “There will be a lot of players who are going to be released at the end of the season. Majoro is not the only one on the list, some of them know already, because what the technical team is planning to do is a long term goal and it wants young players. So, keeping these old guys is not really ideal,” said the source

READ | AMAZULU PREPARING SIPHIWE TSHABALALA FOR LIFE AFTER FOOTBALL

The source went on to explain that it wouldn’t just be a matter of releasing all the senior citizens of the squad, with a policy of what suits the squad make up the most being the one that will be deployed.

“They have to make room for the young guys. But there needs to be a balance between young and experienced players especially if their main target of qualifying to play in Caf competitions will materialise. But I don’t think Majoro is ready to be let go because he still feels like he can go for two or more seasons. If he leaves AmaZulu he will definitely try to find a new home because he wants to continue playing.”

So where will Majoro be playing his football next season? Watch space.

Before yesterdayYour RSS feeds

AmaZulu’s Benni McCarthy and Veli Mothwa bag PSL monthly awards

May 12th 2021 at 06:44

AmaZulu FC coach Benni McCarthy and goalkeper Veli Mothwa did the ‘double’ on the DStv Premiership monthly awards.

ALSO READ: Majoro set for AmaZulu exit

McCarthy claimed the DStv Premiership Coach of the Month for AmaZulu’s near-perfect Dstv Premiership record in March/April, while his trusted shot-stopper, Veli Mothwa, bagged the DStv Premiership Player of the Month award.

McCarthy’s Usuthu began the month of March with a 1-0 victory over SuperSport United and went on to further triumph in six more games and played to a draw against defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns – the only game they failed to score in out of eight outings.

During this period, AmaZulu scored an impressive 13 goals and conceded only twice.

Meanwhile, McCarthy said he was proud of AmaZulu despite blowing league title chances after Baroka loss.

Usuthu blew their chances of snatching the DStv Premiership title away from Sundowns after losing 1-0 to Baroka FC at King Zwelethini Stadium in Umlazi on Tuesday, but head coach Benni McCarthy remains proud of how his players have performed so far this season.

“We can’t fault the players, they have been fantastic. I think the opposition just made it difficult for us. They were more physical than us, they were getting to the ball first and made it difficult for us. Every time we tried to play they had a bus parked in front of their goals, I think we needed to be more patient and smart on our approach. We were not clinical with the chances we created in first half, we wasted quite a number of chances and they took their chance from nothing,” said McCarthy.

“I think psychologically moving the game away from the Kings Park affected the team a little bit. This (King Zwelithini Stadium) used to be the club’s home ground, but this season we have played all of our homes games at Kings Park and we became quite accustomed to this, we were very familiar with everything. We got some great results, now you get your home game moved to another stadium where you haven’t played this season.”

Usuthu have registered 50 points in their last 27 games and trail log leaders Sundowns by seven points with the KwaZulu-Natal based outfit left with only three games.

AmaZulu can only now finish the season with 59 points should they win their rest of the games – while Downs who are on 57 points after 26 games can go on to win the league with 69 points, but now the Brazilians only need one win to lift their fourth league trophy in a row.

McCarthy and his charges will battle it out to secure the Caf Champions League spot by winning the rest of their last three fixtures against Orlando Pirates, Swallows FC and Maritzburg United.

ENDS

Benni McCarthy blames ‘the ghosts of King Zwelithini’ for shock defeat

May 11th 2021 at 15:06

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy believes “the ghosts of King Zwelithini” came back to haunt Usuthu on Tuesday.

His side were on a record run of 16 unbeaten matches in the DStv Premiership before crashing to a 1-0 defeat against Baroka FC.

READ | SUNDOWNS COACH SPEAKS ON FACING ON FACING PITSO MOSIMANE AND AL AHLY

AmaZulu have turned Kings Park into a formidable fortress this season, but were forced to return to their previous home ground, the King Zwelithini Stadium.

A venue where AmaZulu were a shadow of the side they are today. Where they were relegation candidates last season, struggling to get any points at home.

READ | HUGO BROOS WANTS BAFANA BAFANA TO PLAY “FANCY FOOTBALL”

McCarthy blamed the venue change for his side’s loss.

“I think psychologically moving the game away from Kings Park affected the team a little bit because obviously this used to be the clubs home ground but this season we have played every game at Kings Park. We became quite accustomed to the stadium and the pitch he stated after the game.

The Usuthu coach believes this gave Bakgakga an opening to win today.

“We were very familiar with everything. We have got some brilliant results there and then you have your home game moved to another stadium where you haven’t played all season. It gives the opposition an opening to get in, but today the opposition team was very physical.” McCarthy explained.

McCarthy’s misery compounded as AmaZulu title hopes dashed

The loss has ensured that Mamelodi Sundowns now only need one win in their remaining four matches to secure a successful title defence.

AmaZulu now sit on 50 points with three games remaining, meaning they can finish on a maximum of 59 points.

The Brazilians already have 57 points, meaning three points will be enough for Bafana baStyle to secure the 2020/21 DStv Premiership title.

READ | AMAZULU CRASH TO SHOCK DEFEAT, MAMELODI SUNDOWNS CAN NOW SMELL THE TITLE

The race for second spot and CAF Champions League qualification has now been tightened by this shock defeat.

Luckily, for AmaZulu though, Orlando Pirates also failed to win after being held to a 0-0 draw against Stellenbosch FC at the Danie Craven Stadium.

Although, that is one point closer than they were to Usuthu at the start of the day.

AmaZulu crash to shock defeat, Mamelodi Sundowns can now smell title

May 11th 2021 at 10:55

Benni McCarthy’s AmaZulu side crashed to a shock home defeat in their DStv Premiership clash against Baroka FC on Tuesday, 11 May.

READ | AL AHLY STAR CLAIMS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS HAVE MADE HIM AN OFFER!

The only goal of the match was scored in the 38th minute by Malawi’s Richard Mbulu.

The loss means Usuthu still trail log-leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by seven points but now only have three matches – and a maximum of nine points – remaining.

That means defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns only require three more points to claim a fourth consecutive – and 11th overall – PSL title.

READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS COACH THANKS PSL FOR SHIFTING LAST ROUND FIXTURES

The Brazilians will get the chance to do just that in their next match which is scheduled for Wednesday, 26 May at home against SuperSport United (17:00).

Meanwhile, Baroka FC moved up to ninth in the standings thanks to their victory, dropping Kaizer Chiefs to 10th.

In the day’s only other DStv Premiership match, Stellenbosch FC held Orlando Pirates to a goalless draw at the Danie Craven Stadium.

READ | MAMELODI SUNDOWNS HEAD INTO AL AHLY CLASH IN WINNING FORM

AmaZulu preparing Siphiwe Tshabalala for life after football?

May 9th 2021 at 04:30

AmaZulu has reportedly been preparing former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana international, Siphiwe Tshabalala for an off the field role at the club next season.

Following his much-publicized signing by AmaZulu, the veteran winger has failed to make an impact at Usuthu, only featuring twice in all competitions for the club. Those appearances came in the DStv Premiership and the Nedbank Cup but he has struggled to kick on from those two matches.

It is worth noting, however, that Tshabalala has not enjoyed the best of luck with injuries and health along the way. He had joined the Durban-based side already carrying an injury, and upon recovering from that he would suffer from Covid-19.

READ | AMAZULU BOMBSHELL: SIPHIWE TSHABALALA WASN’T REALLY SIGNED TO PLAY

During that period, Tshabalala’s former Bafana Bafana team-mate Benni McCarthy would arrive in KwaZuluNatal and take over the helm from Ayanda Dhlamini. The national team record goalscorer has then gone on to assemble a well-oiled machine at AmaZulu which has seen Tshabalala fall further and further behind the pecking order to such an extent that, the club has asked him to consider his future in the game altogether.

Tshabalala doesn’t appear to be in AmaZulu’s plans

It was initially reported by certain media publications that upon McCarthy informing AmaZulu of his transfer plans for next season, he also made it clear that Tshabalala as well as his former national team and Kaizer Chiefs team-mate Tsepho Masilela were not in his plans for next season. However, unlike Masilela, the club has found a way they feel could be suitable to use Tshabalala and his stature in the game to their advantage.

They could offer him a position off the field

Now an insider has since informed Kickoff that the club boss still sees value in Tshabalala in a different capacity for the club. “Shabba will be moved to the club’s marketing department while Tsepo Masilela will be released,” said the source in a short and simple conversation with the publication.

Whether that proves accurate or not, remains to be seen, what one thing does seem apparent and that is Tshabalala doesn’t seem like he will be wearing the green of AmaZulu as a player next season.

Benni McCarthy makes early call: AmaZulu will be in the CAF Champions League

May 7th 2021 at 09:06

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy is confident his charges will secure second position in the DStv Premiership this season and clinch a spot in the CAF Champions League.

READ | NEDBANK CUP FINAL: CHIPPA UNITED AND TTM BATTLE FOR MILLIONS

Usuthu have opened a seven-point lead over third-placed Golden Arrows, and eight points over Orlando Pirates, with only four matches left to play.

The Durban outfit will face Baroka FC, Orlando Pirates, Swallows, Maritzburg United in their remaining games and McCarthy is convinced they will get through them well.

The last time a KwaZulu-Natal team qualified for the Champions League was Manning Rangers in 1998.

READ | AL AHLY V MAMELODI SUNDOWNS: DATES CONFIRMED FOR CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CLASH

“Believe you me‚ the next four games I can’t see AmaZulu losing those four games‚” said McCarthy, as quoted by Sowetan.

“So CAF Champions League – we will be playing CAF Champions League [next season]‚ so that brings new challenges.

“With new challenges we can’t just expect to bring a whole new team in because the players that work for us have done their duty for the club. We now have to look and scout and see which three‚ four‚ five players we can bring in and make what we already have better.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WISHES HUGO BROOS AND BAFANA BAFANA WELL

“That’s how it works – it’s not that we’re going to make wholesome changes. We’re not that type of team that goes and recruit a new team for the new challenges.

“We work with what we have – for the players that got us there it will be a reward for their hard work. You can’t up and get rid of them.

“But there will be a few new faces that will come in and assist the good team that we already have so we can be ready and competitive for Caf Champions League.”

EXCLUSIVE | TOP KAIZER CHIEFS DEFENDER FACES BLEAK FUTURE

AMAZULU’S REMAINING DSTV PREMIERSHIP MATCHES:

Tuesday, 11 May v Baroka FC (H) – 15:00

Wednesday, 19 May v Orlando Pirates (A) – 15:00

Wednesday, 26 May v Swallows (H) – 19:30

Saturday, 29 May v Maritzburg United (A) – 15:00

NEW QUIZ | ANSWER THESE 5 EASY SOCCER QUESTIONS AND YOU COULD WIN R1 000!

Benni McCarthy sends Hugo Broos and Bafana Bafana his best wishes

May 7th 2021 at 04:23

Benni McCarthy has wished new Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos well after speculation had initially linked the AmaZulu boss to the national team post.

NEW QUIZ | ANSWER THESE 5 EASY QUESTIONS AND YOU COULD WIN R1 000!

In the wake of Molefi Ntseki’s departure, rumours were doing the rounds that Benni McCarthy would take over as Bafana boss due to his impressive record at AmaZulu this season.

“The rumours [on Bafana], we try not to let rumours get to us and derail what we want to do as individuals and as a team,” said McCarthy, as quoted by Sowetan.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LATEST | SAFA CONFIRMS HUGO BROOS CONTRACT DETAILS

In the end it was former Cameroon national team coach Broos who got the nod and Benni McCarthy has wished him and Bafana Bafana all the best.

“We have got a good group of players, so ja, I can’t see why there can’t be success. All I can say to the new guy [Broos] is good luck and all the best,” McCarthy added.

“We know that we’ll be playing qualifiers for the World Cup and ja, we’ll be rooting for Bafana.

“All I can give them is my best wishes, more I can’t do.”

READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Benni McCarthy hails AmaZulu team after R1.5m Q-Innovation Q3 windfall

May 5th 2021 at 17:03

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy has heaped praise on his players after being confirmed as the DStv Premiership Q-Innovation Q3 winners.

MUST READ | FOUR THINGS THAT COST BENNI MCCARTHY THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Usuthu won six and drew two of their eight league games during the third quarter block to come out on top.

Benni McCarthy was delighted with the recognition and was quick to praise his squad for the hard work they put in to go on their impressive run of results.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS FANS HAVE HAD ENOUGH! PROTEST PLANS REVEALED

“I would like to thank you, the DStv Premiership officials, and everyone for recognizing us as the Q3 winners. We really appreciate it, we are very excited, and we are very happy to receive this award,” said Benni McCarthy, as quoted by the official AmaZulu website.

“It has been hard work from everyone. We are fully grateful for this. I would like to thank the players first for their hard work, their dedication, their sacrifice, the winning mentality that they have shown.

“To come in every single day working to get better and better, I am grateful and very happy for them that they were able to win this Q3. All their hard work has paid off eventually.

READ | KAIZER CHIEFS: THIS INCREDIBLE STAT SUMS UP THEIR WOEFUL SEASON

“The technical team, the coaches thank you all for every single day, pushing each other, pushing the players to do more.

“I am grateful for you guys and I am very thankful to have you guys as part of my team and then obviously management, the President of the team, Mr Sandile Zungu and Mr Manzini Zungu for the leadership and guiding the team, allowing me to assemble the team that I have and to be able to win this Q3.

“Hopefully, we will win many more to come and we work harder every day. I want to thank them for the incredible leadership that they have shown to AmaZulu and to the fans, I hope they enjoyed it. We miss them a lot and we cannot wait to have them back at the stadiums,” Benni McCarthy concluded.

READ | HUGO BROOS SPEAKS: TAKES A DIG AT MOLEFI NTSEKI

CONGRATULATIONS to @AmaZuluFootball 🥇🎉🎈🎊- The #DStvPrem Q-Innovation Quarter three (Q3) winners. pic.twitter.com/EGJ53xJZei

— Official PSL (@OfficialPSL) May 4, 2021

FOUR things that cost Benni McCarthy the Bafana Bafana job!

May 5th 2021 at 11:16

Almost every South African endorsed the idea of Benni McCarthy becoming the new Bafana Bafana head coach.

However, the South African Football Association (SAFA) opted for Hugo Broos; a Belgian coach who won the Africa Cup of Nations with Cameroon.

READ | HUGO BROOS: BAFANA BAFANA BOSS SPEAKS, TAKES A JAB AT MOLEFI NTSEKI

Until Tuesday, McCarthy was believed to be the man to succeed Molefi Ntseki but there are FOUR things that reportedly cost him the Bafana Bafana plumb job.    

And here are they…

HIGH SALARY DEMANDS

Media reports suggest that McCarthy asked for a high salary from SAFA when he was approached.

While SAFA said in March that money wasn’t a problem, it is believed that they found McCarthy’s salary demands high and unreasonable.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LATEST | A LOCAL COACH TO ASSIST HUGO BROOS

With that said, it’s unclear if the agreement between SAFA and Broos means the Belgian mentor will be earning far lesser than what McCarthy was asking for.

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

According to SAFA CEO Tebogo Motlanthe, one of the criteria for selecting the current Bafana Bafana coach was international experience.

And obviously, McCarthy lacks that as he’s only been coaching at club level, and his coaching career only kicked off less than five years ago.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA LATEST | SAFA CONFIRMS HUGO BROOS CONTRACT DETAILS

His decorated CV of being a former Bafana Bafana player and a rising coach in South Africa was overlooked as SAFA wanted someone who will hit the ground running and ensure that the team qualifies for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

TECHNICAL TEAM DEMANDS

It is widely reported that part of McCarthy’s demands was that he comes with his own technical team at AmaZulu.

He reportedly wanted Siyabonga Nomvethe, Vasili Manousakis and goalkeeper coach Moeneeb Josephs to be part of his backroom staff.

READ | BREAKING NEWS: HUGO BROOS NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH!

This was to ensure that there’s enough visibility of the Bafana Bafana technical team at PSL games in order to make informed decisions when selecting his squads.  

However, SAFA rejected the proposal as they wanted to do things differently.   

WORKING WITH THE OLYMPIC AND U20 TEAMS

On Wednesday, Soccer Laduma reported that McCarthy wanted to work closely with the Olympic team and U20 technical team.

The reason given was that McCarthy was already looking beyond 2022 and casting an eye on the 2026 FIFA World Cup finals, knowing that Bafana Bafana will need to be refreshed with younger players.  

READ | WATCH NOW: PITSO MOSIMANE’S SON SHOWS OFF HIS FOOTBALL SKILLS AT AL AHLY!

Again, the idea was reportedly shot down by SAFA who are believed to have cited budgetary issues as the main stumbling block.

SAFA catches MASSIVE break after Bafana’s SWC 2022 qualifiers delayed

May 4th 2021 at 10:47

Next month’s opening 2022 Soccer World Cup qualifiers for Africa are set to be delayed because a host of stadiums lack Confederation of African Football approval, sources told AFP on Tuesday. 

READ | JOSE MOURINHO NAMED NEW ROMA COACH

According to sources at several football federations in Africa, CAF is planning to postpone the first two days of qualifying from June to September. 

“The CAF emergency committee validated the decision on Monday, we are awaiting the validation of the executive committee” on May 15, a federation president told AFP.

Other leading figures within African football have confirmed the decision. 

READ | AL AHLY SLUMP TO SHOCK LOSS ON EVE OF MAMELODI SUNDOWNS SHOWDOWN

When questioned, CAF did not confirm the postponement and announced that it would communicate on the subject “during the day”.

The six qualifying matchdays would be staggered two-by-two in September, October and November.

According to the same sources the playoffs will take place in March after the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Cameroon, itself initially scheduled for 2021 but pushed back to 2022 by the coronavirus pandemic.

READ | DRAMA AS CAPE TOWN CITY PLACE COACH JAN OLDE RIEKERINK ON ‘ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE’

The last-minute postponement has been prompted by the absence of stadiums approved by CAF in 22 of the confederation’s 54 member countries.

Countries including Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal would not be able to play their home matches in June.

There is also no approved stadium in Sierra Leone, who are due to play a delayed AFCON qualifier against Benin in June.

The news will come as music to the ears of the South African Football Association (SAFA) who have still not named the new coach to lead Bafana Bafana into those qualifiers which were, until the delay, due to kick off in the first week in June.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES | IT TOOK 991 DAYS FOR BUCS TO LOSE AT ORLANDO STADIUM!

Cape Town City place coach Jan Olde Riekerink on ‘administrative leave’

May 3rd 2021 at 08:52

There’s drama down in the Cape after Cape Town City FC placed head coach Jan Olde Riekerink on “administrative leave” with “immediate effect”.

READ | ZINNBAUER: ORLANDO PIRATES DIDN’T TRAIN FOR THE MAMELODI SUNDOWNS GAME

The DStv Premiership confirmed the news on their Twitter account on Monday, adding that assistant coach Diogo Peral will take charge of the team until further notice.

Riekerink, 58, was named Cape Town City coach in November 2019 following Benni McCarthy’s departure.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES | IT TOOK 991 DAYS FOR BUCS TO LOSE AT ORLANDO STADIUM!

Despite their struggles in recent weeks – which included a 5-1 home defeat against AmaZulu and a 1-0 loss to strugglers TTM – Cape Town City find themselves in seventh place in the DStv Premiership standings and virtually assured of their place in next season’s MTN8.

They will next be in action away to Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday, 12 May at 19:30.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

The club can confirm that it has placed coach Jan Olde Riekerink on administrative leave, with immediate effect.

Club assistant coach Diogo Peral will take charge of the team until further notice. pic.twitter.com/A4LYgR4OdK

— Cape Town City FC (@CapeTownCityFC) May 3, 2021

EXCLUSIVE | Zuma weighs in on McCarthy to Bafana Bafana debate

May 3rd 2021 at 08:22

Bafana Bafana legend Sibusiso Zuma has thrown his weight behind former teammate and AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy for the national team job.

McCarthy is reported to be the frontrunner for the Bafana Bafana plumb job following the South African Football Association’s (SAFA) failure to finalize the deal with Carlos Queiroz among other candidates.

READ | ZINNBAUER: ORLANDO PIRATES DIDN’T TRAIN FOR THE MAMELODI SUNDOWNS GAME

SAFA was expected to announce Molefi Ntseki’s successor over a week ago but that didn’t happen with the postponement of the announcement made public just hours before what was a scheduled press conference and unveiling of a new coach.

While SAFA released a statement on reports linking Benni McCarthy with the Bafana Bafana job, Zuma believes there’s no better candidate for the job than the former Porto FC striker.    

“As somebody I played with, I saw that Benni was always someone who wanted to end up coaching. He was always interested in the tactical part of football,” Zuma told TheSouthAfrican.com.

READ | ORLANDO PIRATES | IT TOOK 991 DAYS FOR BUCS TO LOSE AT ORLANDO STADIUM!

Zuma has been following McCarthy’s coaching career closely, and he feels what his former Bafana Bafana teammate did at Cape Town City and is currently doing at AmaZulu could benefit the country’s football.  

“At Cape Town City… not really following closely but I saw Cape Town City playing a very attacking and beautiful football.

“Right now at AmaZulu, he just changed the whole team and they are number two in the league right now. He’s doing well for himself and the South African football as well,” he added.  

“So, as South Africa, I think we have a favourable chance of building with one of our own coaches; someone who won the (UEFA) Champions League, someone who was coached by top coaches.”

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Zuma said McCarthy is his favourite for the job, adding that he’s 100 percent behind his possible appointment as Bafana Bafana coach.

“I believe he’s the number one candidate right now and my favourite. I am 100 percent behind him for this job and I hope he gets it because it’s important for the country so that he can start changing things for us and for the guys who are playing right now. I think there is going to be an improvement,” he continued.     

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Asked if the perception that McCarthy may not be ready to coach at a national team level coupled with the fact that he’s only 43-years-old, Zuma said: “I don’t know what people say. I know what Benni has done. I saw him when he was playing and winning the Champions League.

“So, I don’t know if age is a matter in what we are talking about but we need to give our people a chance,” concluded Zuma.    

SAFA upset at media leak linking Benni McCarthy to Bafana Bafana job

May 3rd 2021 at 03:38

The South African Football Association (SAFA) has moved to end speculation around who will become the next Bafana Bafana coach.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

AmaZulu boss Benni McCarthy has been hotly tipped to take up the role at the end of the current season.

AmaZulu are fighting for league honours and are currently in first place with 50 points, two clear of Mamelodi Sundows, albeit with having played three more matches.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

A SAFA media release on Sunday, read: ‘We have noted that various publications over the last week have reported the appointment of new Bafana Bafana coach as having been concluded.

‘Firstly, it was Carlos Queiroz then Pitso Mosimane and most recently AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy.

‘SAFA has always stated that the Technical Committee will submit their final recommendations to the SAFA NEC, the highest decision-making body, which will finally make the announcement once the process is concluded.

‘We note that the Benni McCarthy’s name comes at a time when AmaZulu are top of the log standings and it might appear that SAFA wants to derail the club’s good run.

‘We are happy with AmaZulu’s current good run but SAFA will announce the new incoming coach once the issue is dealt with by the NEC.’

SAFA on media speculation of new Bafana Bafana coach https://t.co/VyJYcziHEV

— SAFA.net (@SAFA_net) May 2, 2021

Benni McCarthy: I couldn’t be prouder of my AmaZulu team

May 3rd 2021 at 03:34

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy says he is proud of his players after they clinched a 1-0 win over Golden Arrows on Saturday.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY WILL BE NAMED NEW BAFANA BAFANA COACH ON WEDNESDAY

Usuthu beat Arrows at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium to move to the top of the DStv Premiership standings, before losing the position on Sunday when Mamelodi Sundowns thrashed Orlando Pirates 3-0 to reclaim first place.

McCarthy was delighted with the effort put in by his charges and backed them to challenge for the league title.

READ | SAFA GRUMPY AT MEDIA LEAK LINKING BENNI MCCARTHY TO BAFANA BAFANA JOB

“The AmaZulu of Benni McCarthy do the talking on the field. I can’t be more proud of this group of players. They have proven themselves to be exceptionally equipped, useful, hardworking, determined, and they have abilities that you have not seen,” McCarthy told the Usuthu media department after the game.

“To do what they have been doing and they continue to do is just exceptional. I think maybe some of these guys need to go to the history books of AmaZulu because you are never going to have another exceptional season what these guys have done.”

He added: “Happy for the players and happy for the team, we march on. We came from the 13th place to do the impossible, and we are right up there on the table.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

“This is a reward for the players for their hard work, the determination, the drive and willingness and having the winning mentality, just like the coach. I’m super proud. I even love these players.

“It was a tough game for us and the field didn’t help us because of the rain a day before, and we were not allowed to play the good football that we wanted to. It was exceptionally hard, controlling and playing.

“First half, I think we were by far the best team. We were good in every aspect of the game. We were first to every ball.

“It was unfortunate that we only scored in the last minute of the half to go up because we had two fantastic chances to score.”

Just in | Benni McCarthy will be the next Bafana Bafana coach

May 2nd 2021 at 07:35

Benni McCarthy’s meteoric rise in the coaching ranks is set to be complete when he is named as the next Bafana Bafana coach on Wednesday, 5 May.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Former Bafana Bafana striker McCarthy cut his teeth at Cape Town City FC in his first managerial role before being fired by the Cape Town side.

He then took over at KwaZulu-Natal side AmaZulu and has led them to the top of the DStv Premiership standings with just five matches remaining in the season.

McCarthy has reportedly agreed to take over as South Africa coach at the conclusion of the season (May 29) which leaves him just a WEEK to prepare the side for their first 2022 Soccer World Cup qualifier away from home against neighbours Zimbabwe.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY CALLS ON A FAVOUR FROM ORLANDO PIRATES

According to Sunday’s City Press, McCarthy will take his AmaZulu lieutenants – assistant coach Siyabonga Nomvethe and goalkeeper coach Moeneeb Josephs – as part of his negotiated package with SAFA.

That obviously doesn’t leave AmaZulu in a favourable position heading into the next season.

It must also be mentioned that McCarthy was not SAFA’s first choice – nor second choice for that matter.

Despite what the national body might say, Carlos Queiroz was their No 1 for the role and when that fell through they moved heaven and earth to land Pitso Mosimane – which also failed embarrassingly.

Good luck Benni!

READ | FORMER BAFANA BAFANA COACH BACKS BENNI MCCARTHY FOR THE JOB

Benni McCarthy calls on a favour from Orlando Pirates

May 2nd 2021 at 07:20

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy has called on Orlando Pirates to do the country and his side a favour and make the title race more interesting by beating Mamelodi Sundowns at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday.

READ | BENNI MCCARTHY: THREE PROS AND CONS FOR TAKING THE BAFANA BAFANA JOB

Kick-off is at 15:00.

Usuthu claimed a 1-0 win over Golden Arrows in the Durban derby at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday which took them two points ahead of former league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, but crucially having played two more games.

It might just be the perfect time for the Buccaneers to face the Brazilians, who are on a four-match winless run.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA COACH LATEST: DEAL STRUCK, ANNOUNCEMENT THIS WEEK!

And Benni McCarty wants an Orlando Pirates win not just for his side but for the fans, whom he says deserve an exciting finish to the season after being restricted from attending matches for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Now we’ll see how the magic unfolds (today), hoping Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns provide a very good game. We’ll see what happens in that match and we are hoping it becomes interesting,” said Benni McCarthy.

“In the year that we’ve had, with Covid-19 and the new Dstv Premiership title and all the excitement that it provides, you want it to go to the last day of the season.

“I hope that Pirates do the country and everyone a favor, by doing what they should be doing. They can’t be hammered three times in a row by one team.

“So I’m backing my boys in black, hopefully they come through for us and then we take it further down to the wire with Sundowns, because that’s what the fans need.

“That’s what the fans need, because they are not allowed to come to the stadium. So if they can’t be here let’s give them something to really sit on the edge of the seat until the last match of the season.”

READ | FORMER BAFANA BAFANA COACH BACKS BENNI MCCARTHY FOR THE JOB

Benni McCarthy: Three pros and cons for taking the Bafana Bafana job

May 2nd 2021 at 03:57

SAFA has confirmed it has agreed terms with a new Bafana Bafana coach with speculation rife that it could be Benni McCarthy.

READ | BAFANA BAFANA COACH LATEST: DEAL STRUCK, ANNOUNCEMENT THIS WEEK!

On Friday SAFA sent the tails of the South African football fraternity wagging after confirming, they had finalised the contract of the new Bafana Bafana coach.

The country’s football governing body went as far as stating that they intend on making an official announcement in the coming week, with speculation rife on Saturday that it could be Amazulu coach Benni McCarthy.

READ | FORMER BAFANA BAFANA COACH BACKS BENNI MCCARTHY FOR THE JOB

McCarthy, who remains as Bafana Bafana’s all-time leading goal scorer, has been the talk of the local football scene in recent months, with his Durban-based side picking up scintillating form which has seen Usuthu sit on top of the log at the time of writing this article, having held on to beat neighbours Golden Arrows on Saturday. But Mamelodi Sundowns, who play Orlando Pirates on Sunday afternoon will have their two games restored after full time.

READ | IS SAFA TERRIFIED BENNI MCCARTHY WILL GIVE THEM HELL?

With the way he has turned Amazulu around this season, it is perhaps no surprise why McCarthy has been linked with the Bafana Bafana hot seat but is he the right man for the job? Here are three reasons why he could be, as well as three reasons why he might not be.

Pros to Benni McCarthy being Bafana Bafana coach

1. Young coach

At 43-years old McCarthy is a lot closer with regards to age, to the current generation, as opposed to the last three Bafana Bafana mentors. It is also then perhaps no coincidence that he has often appeared as close with his group of players at both Cape Town City and Amazulu.

That could be, exactly the type of figure Bafana Bafana players need at the moment with morale seemingly at an all-time low. Additionally, if Safa is serious about their long-term “visions” then maybe starting from scratch with a young squad and players who could grow together, might be the best way forward.

2. Winning momentum

Amazulu have hit the DStv Premiership League by storm this season, and their nine victories in their last 10 matches have catapulted them to being serious league contenders. McCarthy has been largely instrumental in that, as he has recruited well and to suit his image of how football should be played.

Bafana Bafana will need a coach who has a clear plan and vision as to how he wants to play football, as well as someone who can identify the correct players to fit his system. McCarthy may have shown that he already has those attributes, and that may be what attracted Safa to him if reports are to be true.

3. Stature in football

With the accolades of being the only South African to lift a Champions League trophy, as well as being Bafana Bafana’s top goal scorer, there is no doubting that McCarthy’s presence automatically demands respect in local football circles.

A lot of the players he would be calling up would either be looking up to him or have ambitions of achieving what he has in the game. That alone will have players listening attentively to every instruction he shares.

Many would argue that wouldn’t have been the case with recently fired Molefi Ntseki, with him not having the most colourful senior football CV to his name.

Cons to Benni McCarthy being Bafana Bafana coach

1. Inexperienced

The other side of being a young coach is the lack of experience it may come with. Although McCarthy has a Uefa Pro Coaching license to his name, international football is not often regarded as the most suitable environment to breed a young coach.

Young coaches also often need time to build, but Safa having disposed of two coaches in the last two years doesn’t seem like an organization that is willing to afford a Bafana Bafana coach that luxury.

2. Cape Town City tenure demise

Although McCarthy’s Amazulu has been hot form under his tutelage so far, Cape Town City was also a consistent exciting threat under the Cape Town-born mentor even winning an MTN 8 title in 2018.

But his tenure dried up very suddenly in 2019 going for large winless streaks and often cutting a frustrated figure who had ran out of plans before being shown the door.

The concern now may be that McCarthy could suffer another deflation period that could see him run out of ideas for Bafana Bafana which is the last thing the country needs at international level.

3. Club coaching career rebuild

This job offer would come at a precarious time for McCarthy, having started to repair and rebuild his coaching reputation which would’ve no doubt had a few wondering if he wasn’t just a “one-hit wonder”.

He has clearly started a project with the right ingredients to be formidable at Usuthu, so would leaving that for a potentially short international coaching career really be the best option for him?

Are Safa terrified Benni McCarthy will give them hell?

May 1st 2021 at 05:12

Former Mamelodi Sundowns star Charles Motlohi has posited that the South African Football Association are afraid managing Benni McCarthy as Bafana Bafana coach will prove difficult.

There has been a groundswell of popular support for McCarthy to be named Bafana Bafana coach, but Safa have delayed confirming any appointment.

Safa terrified Benni McCarthy will give them hell

Motlohi believes that were it not for McCarthy’s history with Safa officials, the Amazulu coach would already have the job.

“Do you remember how he gave them tough time when he was still a player?” Motlohi told KickOff.com.

“He used to tell them lot of shit. Because of that they are now scared to appoint him. They think he will give them the damn, he won’t let them dictate to him. Look at the two teams he has coached so far, and they are not teams that have same material as Sundowns. But look where he put those clubs. His style of football, he knows how to identify talented players.”

Gavin Hunt Kaizer Chiefs
Gavin Hunt and Benni McCarthy, during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 football match between Cape Town City FC and Bidvest Wits at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 2 October 2018 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

‘We don’t need people like Carlos Queiroz’

The Brazilians legend took a dim view of the notion of a foreign coach being appointed ahead of McCarthy. Motlohi also suggested that former Orlando Pirates coach Eric Tinkler be given a role within the Bafana technical team.

“We don’t need people like Carlos Queiroz to come here, we have our own identity. We don’t have big bodies like Nigerians. Benni is similar to Ted (Dumitru), Ted knew our strength. I was confident SAFA was going for Benni. They must give him a chance and pair him with Eric Tinkler.

“What made them leave their countries if they are so good? Let me tell you something you don’t know about SAFA, they don’t want to be surrounded by those who played the game.

“Majority of the people who are there are either politicians or whatever. Even the SAFA that is here in Welkom, they will never give you a call and ask for advise. Every time I go there they act as if they’ve never heard of me.”

Gavin Hunt Kaizer Chiefs

Gavin Hunt and Benni McCarthy, during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 football match between Cape Town City FC and Bidvest Wits at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 2 October 2018 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

AmaZulu send warning to Sundowns with City thrashing

April 28th 2021 at 13:35

 

A statement of intent has been sent by AmaZulu to Mamelodi Sundowns to say should they slip up, they are ready to take the throne and be DStv Premiership champions.

ALSO READ: Sundowns draw another blank in Arrows draw

Usuthu turned Cape Town City into their punching bag, beating them 5-1 at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday evening to move to within one point of Sundowns who were held to a goalless draw by Golden Arrows at the same time.

Usuthu had a perfect start and startled City early on. The Citizens were unsettled when Augustine Mulenga finished off a polished move by Usuthu by sending the ball past Peter Leeuwenburgh to give them an early lead.

While City tried to get back into the game, they just couldn’t get going against a determined Usuthu, who looked dangerous in attack, forcing their hosts to sit back and guard against conceding further.

And with just a few minutes to the break, Usuthu struck again. Luvuyo Memela made a run into the City area and after getting past Leeuwenburgh, the keeper clipped his feet. The referee awarded a penalty which Thapelo Xoki expertly buried to make it 2-0 going into the break.

And three minutes after the break, Usuthu went 3-0 up, with Mulenga selflessly setting Lehlobonolo Majoro through on goal when he could have had a go himself. ‘Major’ simply pushed the ball into the net and went on to do a celebratory dance. He was pointing at his wrist in a way that suggests a time has come – probably for Usuthu to achieve big things.

Leeuwenburgh came out tops a few minutes later ,saving Xoki’s second attempt from the spot. The penalty had been awarded after Siyethemba Sithebe was fouled inside the box by second half substitute, Craig Martin as Usuthu piled the pressure.

AmaZulu were awarded another penalty in the 65th minute after Martin pushed Majoro. Memela took responsibility this time and converted, with Leeuwenburgh getting to the ball, but it squirmed under the ‘keeper’s body and into the net. .

City were also awarded a penalty in the 76th as they pushed forward late in the game. Sithebe brought Aubrey Ngoma down inside the box, but Fagrie Lakay missed with the spot kick. The striker however made amends for the embarrassing miss a minute later scoring with an easy tap in after his initial shot had hit the post.

With four minutes to the end, City were probably thinking the nightmare is ending soon, but Sithebe had other ideas. The lofty midfielder made it 5-1 with an easy finish after an Usuthu counter attack.

 

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