Benni McCarthy Chiefs

Benni McCarthy, the former coach of AmaZulu FC. Photo: BackpagePix

AmaZulu boss: We’d never finish in the top four with Benni in charge

AmaZulu owner Sandile Zungu says the club just wasn’t achieving the results necessary to salvage a top-four finish under Benni McCarthy.

Benni McCarthy Chiefs

Benni McCarthy, the former coach of AmaZulu FC. Photo: BackpagePix

Benni McCarthy was dramatically fired as coach of AmaZulu on Friday in a surprise decision that sent shock waves around the local football fraternity.

Brandon Truter has now been confirmed as AmaZulu’s new head coach on an interim basis after McCarthy was let go on Friday. Truter, who has been out of job since he parted ways with Swallows in November, has taken over with immediate effect.

Zungu has provided further details into why McCarthy was axed, telling KickOff.com that that “wheels had come off” this season”.

“We want to be in the top four, and it might be a bit late now to salvage that top-four finish. Benni was very good, he was part of our success last season, but we needed change to salvage our pride this year.

“At the rate, we were going the team is having a 42% conversion rate, with 29 points out of a maximum 69 points. So we don’t believe the season is done, we’ve got seven more games to play, 21 points to play for if you add 21 to 29 we could reach 60 points.

“If you’ve got 60 points in the Premier Soccer League you are then likely to be in the top four. There is no way we would have clinched a top-four spot with Benni in charge, absolutely no way.

“We were of the view that let’s not overburden him with this responsibility because either he was leaving now or at the end of the season. The end of the season with us out of the top eight would have been a disaster for us.”

On Sunday, AmaZulu sent out the following statement over the new coaching appointment

“AmaZulu FC is pleased to announce the appointment of Brandon Truter as interim head coach with immediate effect until the end of the current 2021/2022 season,” a club statement read.

“We look forward to competing in the league for the remaining seven games. The search for the head coach to lead the team beyond this season has commenced and should be finalised before the end of April.”

Upon reflection, Benni McCarthy arrived at AmaZulu when the KwaZulu-Natal side were in the depths of despair down in 13th place in the standings, just above the relegation zone.

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He weaved his magic and Usuthu finished second in the 2020/21 DStv Premiership – something FAR bigger sides have failed to do in several seasons (if not ever).

They qualified for their first ever CAF Champions League and at the time of publishing are still in with a mathematical chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

A look at the current DStv Premiership log shows that AmaZulu are in ninth place with 29 points after 23 matches.

While they have only won five league matches this season, they have only lost four games – the joint-second fewest in the entire league!

However, AmaZulu president Sandile Zungu has sought to justify sacking McCarthy, and suggested the results just haven’t been good enough this season. You can see that video below, but first make sure you cast your vote in our poll to share your thoughts on whether you agree or disagree with the decision to sack McCarthy.

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As it stands, AmaZulu are dwindling down in ninth place in the DStv Premiership, having managed just five wins from 23 games, and the popular coach has now commented on the news.

“I would like to sincerely thank the players and the fans for their support since I’ve joined AmaZulu,” McCarthy said in a statement released by the club.

“I feel privileged to have been able to make history with this Club by taking them from the relegation zone to an unprecedented second-place position in the League last season.

“And then taking the Club into the group stages of the Champions League this year for the first time, beating multiple CAF Champions League winners TP Mazembe along the way.

“I wish the Club all the best going forward as they build on this success.”

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