Benni to take time off, next role may not be in South Africa

Benni to take time off, next role may not be in South Africa

The football fraternity was largely left in shock last Friday when Benni McCarthy was unceremoniously axed by AmaZulu, with former Swallows mentor Brandon Truter taking over with immediate effect, albeit on an interim basis.

Although AmaZulu impressed at times in the Caf Champions League, the performances in the PSL have been poles apart from the 2020-21 season when AmaZulu finished in a remarkable second place. The season prior to that, Usuthu had been been perched precariously in the relegation zone, but McCarthy inspired a remarkable reversal of the team’s fortunes.

Many believe it was a premature decision to let McCarthy go, and his representative Rob Moore has admitted that the popular coach will only return to South Africa if there is a “big” club that can match his ambitions.

“His time at AmaZulu was incredibly successful. He took the club to heights that they have never be in history. The club was written about and he ended up being the PSL Coach of the Year, and ended up being offered the Bafana Bafana job,” Moore told Soccer Laduma.

“Benni will see what happens. He will take some time off and spend with his family. He has been away for the last 16 months, so he will go home and spend some time with them.

“He will evaluate what comes next. If he is going to return to South Africa to manage, it must be the club that has the resources that can match his ambitions, otherwise there’s no point in coming back.

“He did it with Cape Town City, he took the club to a fifth place finish, two cup finals and won one. He took AmaZulu from relegation to all the things that they’ve achieved.

“So all those things, he has done, he has proven himself. Now, what’s next for him is a big club, with resources that will say, ‘Benni we want you for three years or so’, that wants to build, otherwise he will look abroad and that’s where he is at and we will just see what the future holds in the coming months,” added Moore.

After learning of his axing, McCarthy commented on the news this past weekend.

“I would like to sincerely thank the players and the fans for their support since I’ve joined AmaZulu,” McCarthy said in a statement released by the club.

“I feel privileged to have been able to make history with this Club by taking them from the relegation zone to an unprecedented second-place position in the League last season.

“And then taking the Club into the group stages of the Champions League this year for the first time, beating multiple CAF Champions League winners TP Mazembe along the way.

“I wish the Club all the best going forward as they build on this success.”

Benni McCarthy’s now former team AmaZulu are next in PSL action when they travel to face Baroka on 6 April

Meanwhile, earlier this week, SuperSport CEO Stanley Matthews offered support to McCarthy and said he could reach similar heights achieved by Pitso Mosimane.

“Maybe now you could look at Benni, with his track record in playing and access to personalities and intellectual capital he has on a direct basis, whether it’s a Jose Mourinho, he’s put himself in a bracket where he can become a special coach,” Matthews said.

“Without the international exposure, flavour and modern trends, without spending time with the best practitioners in the game, who are in Europe right now, if you don’t do that then you can’t get to the level that Pitso is.”

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