Barker: ‘It’s time to deliver’

As you all probably know, our first team coach Manqoba Mngqithi has convinced chairman Dr Patrick Sokhela to take out the cheque book and sign striker Stanton Lewis.

The sale of striker Lehlohonolo Majoro to Kaizer Chiefs meant that the boys in green and white were always going to be short of fire power upfront.

Both AmaZulu and neighbours Golden Arrows will welcome this current break. However Maritzburg United would have preferred for the league to continue after their promising start. The Team of Choice have picked up 5 out 9 points and will welcome the challenge against Bloemfontein Celtics away in their next fixture.

Next Match
AmaZulu’s next game will see them come up against Jomo Cosmos away. The Black Prince of football Jomo Sono’s team have started poorly but only need a result to get them going. The Uthukela Mayoral Cup in Ladysmith saw AmaZulu beat Cosmos comfortably during the pre-season, however this counts for nothing. It is time for both teams to start delivering.

AFCON – A difficult task
With the African Nations Cup and the European Championship taking centre stage this weekend, Bafana Bafana lost away from home against Niger. In front of a fiercely patriotic home crowd the ‘Mena’ as Niger are known turned the group G section upside down. This defeat means that automatic qualification is out of our hands and the result against Sierre Leone at home takes on vital proportions. With the defending champions and number one on the continent Egypt being the other side in the group, Niger will have to play the Pharaohs in Cairo away from home.

This will be a very difficult assignment.

I recall playing the DRC away from home in 1997. I would send a delegation to check the facilities, the grounds, training area, hotels and transport. On arrival at the airport I would get my manager Phil Setshedi to collect all the passports.

The number would be 30 and Phil would give them to the immigrations officer from the DRC to speed up procedures. Of course there would be delays because the officer would report that there were only 28 passports. They would put us in a room and make us wait for about 2-3 hours before the officer would appear and apologize that they were indeed 30 passports. The transport vehicles failed to arrive and we would have to arrange local taxis no matter what condition they were in and, eventually 3-4 hours later we would arrive at the hotel.

These are the conditions most coaches, technical teams and associations have been subjected to. To qualify in Africa is really tough. But don’t go into the kitchen if you can’t handle the heat.

‘WAFA-WAFA’ is back
Closer to home this weekend sees the MTN 8 Wafa Wafa cup final competition between the Amakhosi and the Buccaneers. Both coaches Julio Leal of Orlando Pirates and Vladimir Vermezovic of Kaizer Chiefs will be pleased to get their players back from Bafana Bafana all in one piece. Chairmen Irvin Khoza and Kaizer Motaung deserved to be complemented as they have consistently set the standards for professional football clubs in this country to follow.

Clive Barker
Brand Ambassador
AmaZulu FC
1996 AFCON-winning coach

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