AmaZulu FC central midfielder Makhehleni Makhaula is grateful for getting an opportunity to play under Benni McCarthy.
The former Free State Stars player had one of his best seasons in the PSL, as he was nominated for the DStv Premiership midfielder of the season after getting four Man of the Match awards.
Makhaula shared his secret to his success at Usuthu with FARPost and how he plans to do even better next season.
“I was very blessed to get a contract at AmaZulu, after my injury at Highlands Park, through my agent Sizwe Ntshangase,” he said.
“It took time for me to play because of change of ownership, but eventually coach Ayanda Dlamini told me that he needs me in the team.
“When you get to a new environment you find people who’ve been there, so I had to work hard so that I can be one of the key players.
“The arrival of coach Benni McCarthy was a blessing for me, I got my chance to play and I grabbed it with both hands,” continued Makhaula.
“It’s good to get a coach who believes in you, unlike getting a coach who does not believe in you. This was one of my best seasons, I’m a hard worker normally, so he (McCarthy) saw that he can trust me for the season.”
The Mohlakeng-born player also talks about being nominated for individual awards in the DStv Premiership.
“I wish to play for Bafana Bafana but these days coaches look at the age of the player. But it’s one of my dreams to represent my country one day.”
“As they say, it’s good to keep on dreaming it will happen one day, so I think if I work hard I think God will bless me but I wish to play there one day.
“This past season I did well and in the team with the guys they’re telling me that I might get the award for DStv Premiership midfielder of the season.
“I also believed that I’d get it because I played well in a lot of games and I got a couple of Man of the Match awards. I think maybe if I scored or assisted I’d have gotten the award,” he said.
“I also believe competing with one of the best midfielders in that nomination was good, Themba Zwane (of Mamelodi Sundowns) also deserved it, he did well for his team. I believe I can still get the award next season, if I put more effort,” added Makhaula.
The 31-year-old player is adamant his side will remain competitive next season as long they beef up the team in all positions.
“If you have the right and competitive squad with many quality players like (Mamelodi) Sundowns, I think it would be simple because you can’t always play one team now and again.
“If we can get competitive players so that some can get rest, it will be easy to compete. I believe the club needs to strengthen the squad in all positions.”
“In my position, the midfield there is a need to add more competitive players, the backline needs to be beefed up. Upfront also there is a need for more strengthening and on the wings.
“I leave that one to our technical team because they are the ones who can see properly where the team needs to be strengthened.
“So our technical team will decide where they add, as for me I’d love to have some competition so that I cannot relax. If you always play, you end up big-headed, so I need people to push me at least two or three players in my position,” argued Makhaula, who played 27 matches in all competitions during the past season.
By Wonga Sirayi
FARPost’s KZN Reporter