AmaZulu head coach Brandon Truter is putting together the final pieces of the puzzle as his team prepares for Sunday’s 3 p.m. MTN8 semi-final first leg against Soweto titans Kaizer Chiefs.
Amakhosi opted to raid neighbours Swallows FC at the beginning of the 2022/2023 campaign as they sought to rebuild an ageing and toxic squad, affording new head coach Arthur Zwane an opportunity to start on a clean slate.
Truter, who managed Dube Birds’ return to the top division and then lost his position two seasons later, believes his relationships with a significant chunk of Chiefs’ new starting men might provide him with an edge over his opponents.
“With the quality I know they have right now, I know they are a very dangerous squad at the moment but I think it offers us a certain advantage with me having worked with those players,” he emphasized
“If you look at their line-up, they have a lot of players that have worked under me. We’re looking at (Sfiso) Hlanti, (Kgaogelo) Sekgota, (Dillon) Solomons, (Njabulo) Ngcobo, and (Siyethemba) Sithebe whom I worked with here at AmaZulu as well as George Matlou.
“It’s not just players I’ve coached but I have relationships with as well but if you look at their squad they’ve added the striker up front as well Dove Edmilson and they want to win as well so it’s gonna be an interesting fight.”
Following their impressive performances at the beginning of the season when they surged to first place in the league standings, Usuthu have hit a dip in form, failing to win their last four DStv Premiership matches and scoring just one goal in the process.
Their crash ignited speculation regarding Truter’s job at the club, a few suggesting he may be on his way out. However, the 45-year-old coach denied that he and his team are under pressure.
“We got off to a very strong start to the season, and with that kind of start, the expectations rose as well,” Truter said.
“And now we’ve had very bad results in a short space of time and everyone thinks we’re under pressure. We have the full backing of the board and the staff and we’ve just played just eight games with 22 still to play and we’re not pressing any panic buttons as yet.”