In an exclusive interview with SABC Sport, coach Benni McCarthy has broken his silence regarding his AmaZulu exit.
Usuthu sacked the Bafana Bafana all-time record scorer due to a string of poor results back in March, but McCarthy said he overachieved by finishing second in the DStv Premiership in what was his maiden season.
“It’s a miracle, an absolute miracle the fact that we finished second if you’ve seen the way we lived as a football club – no facilities, we train sharing with the rugby. When there is rugby games you get kicked off, it was so unstable,” McCarthy explained.
It was so…honestly…but, you are professionals and you try and drum into players no matter the circumstances we’ve come from worse, worse than this you know we must be grateful we’ve got the roof over our head.”
AmaZulu mostly used the Moses Mabhida Stadium and King’s Park for their home matches, but they don’t own them.
“We’ve got a place where we can change, we’ve got field whether it’s uneven, whether it’s bumpy, whether it’s rock hard, whether it’s what…it’s a field. Some players in the world don’t get to make it to this level because they don’t have any of the stuff that we are being presented with,” added McCarthy, who confirmed to SABC Sport this week that he was visiting English Premier League club Brentford FC to spend a couple of days observing and taking a tour of their training grounds.
McCarthy said he instilled a culture where nobody moaned at Usuthu despite all the challenges.
Following his exit, Usuthu immediately hired Brandon Truter on an interim basis until the end of the season, and McCarthy has warned it won’t be easy.
“Good luck to them, I wish them nothing but the best, nothing but all the luck in world my friend…because you need to have crocodile skin and a tough stomach to survive,” said McCarthy.
“To want to compete and want to qualify for the Champions League and have the facilities that they have at AmaZulu. It caught up, of course it caught up with us because now we weren’t just disputing the Nedbank Cup, PSL, now we were focusing on playing CAF Champions League you understand? So it’s so much tougher, you needed more. The club needed help and there wasn’t enough help. There weren’t enough experienced people in the club to understand what was the procedure for CAF to prepare for all this, you know
I don’t even want to go into details people might think “oh, he is bitter now”,” said McCarthy
He suggested there were budget constraints at Usuthu.
“It’s owners that have real good intentions you know, they are great people, very respectful people, they mean well but I think they didn’t do their due diligence about what it takes to run a football club,” McCarthy went on.
“You buy a football club (and) it’s all amazing and not realising the cost it’s going to take to maintain…to do everything and the traveling arrangement. I had to even try and cut the budget. I stopped the team from camping so that we can save money.” McCarthy concluded.
By Mazola Molefe