AmaZulu Marketing Manager Lunga Sokhela believes all plans have been put in place to arm the club for success during the 2014/15 season.
Usuthu finished in ninth place on the Absa Premiership table last season and failed to get going in the two knockout competitions, but Sokhela believes the bar has to be set higher for the new campaign.
“The target for the 2014/15 season is simple; the directors have put a mandate of a top-four finish as well as a cup victory,” Sokhela said. “In trying to assist the technical team to achieve that, they’ve signed a number of players and we are confident that this will be achieved.
“Had we won our last game last season we would’ve finished in fifth position so we believe that we are not being over-ambitious.
“When you look at the level of investment that has been put into this club in the past eight years or so, it’s enough to say that it’s high time that AmaZulu start competing and start being one of the dominant teams in the PSL.
“From a management point of view, we believe that the club should be improving from last season and fourth position is by no means a pipe dream. It’s a realistic target and we should all be in the same boat and try to achieve it.”
AmaZulu have parted ways with Tamsanqa Teyise, Njabulo Manqana, Philani Zikalala, Msekeli Mvalo, Lunga Zondi, Pineas Jakob and Lucky Nguzana and are still trying to finalise loan deals for Mfundo Nsele, Petrus Shitembi and Philani Cele.
Bornwell Mwape, Mfanafuthi Dlamini, Siyabonga Mngoma, Thapelo Nyongo, Philani Shange, Sadat Ouro-Akoriko, Darren Smith, Paul Were and Robyn Johannes.
Meanwhile, head coach Craig Rosslee says he is satisfied with how the preseason program has progressed and is hopeful that his side will start the campaign on the right footing and also improve on what they managed to achieve last season.
“Preseason was busy in terms of trying to sort out the squad with two or three key players moving on, the players that we wanted to release and loan out, and the players that we have signed,” said Rosslee.
“We managed to participate in the eTV Charity Showdown and I thought we had a fantastic week and managed to reach the final. We also had a week of team-building out in the Drakensberg and have now spent the past two weeks back here in Durban.
“I’m not really happy with the standard of the friendlies because we have one less team in KwaZulu-Natal but nevertheless we still had a good preseason; the players came back in good shape.”
While Rosslee understands the need for short-term goals, he also emphasized on the importance of long-term targets with regard to restoring the club and leaving a lasting legacy.
“What we are trying to do is build this club,” he added. “It’s always a big mistake to go with the mentality of now or never. In this game, big teams have achieved what they have over a period of a hundred years. It’s about building up for where you want to go.
“The plan is to build a team and to get that in the correct fashion, with the correct players and with the right staff.
“We don’t have the financial buying power of the top teams but we have tried to work smartly to acquire quality players like Johannes, Ouro-Akoriko, Mwape and Were, to strengthen with the youngsters that we have and hopefully that will help us achieve our goals.
“I’ve always said from the first day that I want to play the brand of football that will bring results and also bring the people into this fantastic venue that is the Moses Mabhida Stadium.”
Usuthu will start their 2014/15 season with an Absa Premiership encounter against Ajax Cape Town at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday afternoon at 3pm.Share