Over the years, AmaZulu FC was the team that was forever at the bottom of the log but with the arrival of Benni McCarthy as the team’s Head Coach, that has all changed.
On Saturday in a match against Chippa United, Amazulu made history, scoring the winning goal and for the first time in its existence, clinching the first place position on the log.
With Luvuyo Memela scoring the winning goal from outside the 18-yard box, the team climbed to 50 points (for the first time ever) and sailed past the reigning champions, Mamelodi Sundowns.
Mamelodi Sundowns had already won the PSL title 10 times and is currently sitting with 48 points on the log.
The team’s dramatic turnaround came when businessman, Sandile Zungu, bought the team, handing over the management of the team to lawyer, Tsepiso Mofokeng and adding well-known players such as Siphiwe Tshabalala‚ Xola Mlambo‚ and Luvuyo Memela.
The last and most important ingredient to the team was the coach and that is when they turned to Benedict Saul McCarthy.
To understand the impact that Benni has had, one has to look at the history of Amazulu.
It had only managed to crack the top 10 three times, only managed to climb as high as 7th place (back in 2012) and the last time it won a trophy was in 1992 when it beat Kaizer Chiefs to take Coca-Cola Cup title.
Since then, it had become one of the teams that were most likely to be relegated and had generally finished its seasons on the bottom half of the rankings.
Last year it finished 13th place on the log, raking up 30 points, won only 8 of its matches, and got beaten 3-0 by eventual trophy winners, Mamelodi Sundowns.
This year, however, it had so far moved to first place, earned 50 points, won a record 14 matches, remains unbeaten in their last 16 games, and drew against Mamelodi Sundowns.
Although the draw was not the desired outcome, it did seem to have a mental effect on the defending champions.
While Amazulu managed to win 4 of its last 5 games (its fifth being the draw against Mamelodi), Mamelodi seemed to have struggled to regain its footing, winning only 2 of its last five games, drawing two, and losing one.
Being from Hanover Park, Benni is not known for keeping his opinion to himself, criticizing everything from the state of the football pitch to the unprofessional conduct of some referees.
However, when it comes to the team, Benni shows his humble nature by refusing to talk about himself and instead, choosing to praise his players and the rest of the team.
He has warned however that the team should remain humble because winning a game does not mean they will win the next.
He advised them that instead of thinking of the trophy or the next championship, they should instead remain focused on winning the next game.
Although it’s too early to say who is going to win the trophy, as has been shown during this PSL season, it is never a good idea to place your bets against the pride of Hanover Park, Benedict Saul McCarthy.
Check out the video below of Benni celebrating with his team and if you want to know more about Benni, check out his story by clicking here.
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— #Majuba Magwaza (@MajubaMagwaza) April 28, 2021