A big factor in new AmaZulu assistant coach Siyabonga Nomvethe’s surprise appointment was his deep understanding of South African football, Benni McCarthy has said.
That, and also an inside knowledge of the workings of AmaZulu including the club’s culture influenced the decision, McCarthy added.
McCarthy has no doubt that his former Bafana Bafana striker ‘partner in crime’ will add value and energy to an already high-performing environment.
In his first game as ‘Usuthu’ head coach with Nomvethe alongside him in the dugout, McCarthy enjoyed a fine start as his team thrashed Chippa United 3-1 in a DStv Premiership clash at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
“You know being a coach is the loneliest job in the world because you are out there you’ve got your team behind you but you still by yourself, so it looks like I was on my lonesome self,” said McCarthy.
“But you know Nomvethe ‘Bhele’, I’ve asked him to join my coaching staff and he has been a breath of fresh air. He still looks like a player and still behaves like he fits in the group with the team.
“I think it’s just so nice that you have someone from Durban, someone from the township, someone that came through the ranks and has played at the highest level, a Bafana legend.
“He was my strike partner for so many years, we’ve just got a really good combination, a good partnership so for him to accept me asking him to be one of my coaches on my team it was a delight,” added the former Cape Town City mentor.
Nomvethe’s lack of top-flight coaching experience is sure to raise questions but his success as a player is well documented in local and European football. His eye for goal, discipline, and humility made him a household name in South African football
At the age of 43, Nomvethe was still active in the professional ranks, playing for GladAfrica Championship side Uthongathi. He represented Bafana Bafana in two global showpieces – in 2002 in South Korea/Japan and in 2010 on home soil.
“We had so much fun with the rest of the guys, the rest of the coaching staff,” added McCarthy after the Chippa victory.
“Bhele and I, two young guys who a lot of people think they don’t have what it takes, we just had fun with it, and it showed in the way the team played and they know this is going to be a fun team, this is the team that wants to play football to entertain the fans and football to score goals and to win matches.
“When you’ve got two guys that have done it at the highest level, sitting together, working together, what more can you ask for? you know,” concluded the AmaZulu new coach.
‘Usuthu’ will return to action after the Christmas break on December 28 to prepare for their games in the new year against Bloemfontein Celtic away on January 10 before hosting Kaizer Chiefs three days later.
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