war of the zulus
AmaZulu and Thanda Royal Zulu say sparks will fly when they square up in the Uthukela Mayoral Cup tournament in Ladysmith on Sunday, in what has been dubbed the "Battle of the Zulus".
This will be the first of many Durban derbies between the two clubs, and both have promised there will be no love lost when they meet in the second semifinal of the day. In the first semifinal, newly promoted Maritzburg United will play Uthukela Invitation X1.
All the games will be played at at Settler's Park.
Usuthu public relations officer Philani Mabaso said though they respect Royal Zulu, especially after the off-season signings, their rivals will be going down on Sunday.
"We will be taking no prisoners. We are using tournaments of this nature to test our players and this is also going to be a good opportunity for our technical staff to look at our new signings," he said.
Mabaso said they would be bringing their full squad, including stars like Myron Shongwe, Bafo Biyela and Ntokozo Skhakhane.
Royal Zulu team manager Thabani Gumede said the tournament offers them the benefit of competitive game time.
He said they did not get enough time to prepare for the new season and will be using their game against Usuthu to see how good or bad they are.
"AmaZulu beat us twice last season and we will have to revenge that on Sunday. It's a pity we were pitted against them early, as we would have loved to play them in the final so that they can clap for us when we lift the trophy." Quinton Jetto of United said they were far behind with preparations for the new season and tournaments like the Mayoral Cup gave them an opportunity to see how they will do when the season kicks off.
"We have one or two players that the coach will be looking at and this tournament affords us such an opportunity," he said.
District Mayor Mqapheli S'thole applauded the clubs for participating in the tournament. He said this was an indication of their commitment to their supporters who are based in all parts of the province.
The first prize is R40000.