Amazulu want new Spanish coach to aim for the top four

Franco is AmaZulu's ninth coach in four years

Nkareng Matshe Sports editor
AmaZulu have appointed Pablo Franco Martin as their new Head Coach.
AmaZulu have appointed Pablo Franco Martin as their new Head Coach.
Image: Facebook

New AmaZulu coach Pablo Franco Martin of Spain has been given a tough mandate of taking the increasingly trigger-happy club into the DStv Premiership top four.

Franco is expected to arrive in the country “in the next couple of days”, according to club owner Sandile Zungu, who confirmed the 43-year-old’s appointment last night.

“We will sit down with him to set the targets, but one of them is that we want to finish in the top four. We are top quarter team; we want to cement our place in the top four and to compete for every cup on offer,” said the Usuthu boss.

“There are much more specific targets that we will discuss and agree with him, specifically to participate in CAF Champions League or Confederation Cup. It is our ambition, we believe he’s appraised with those ambition and he believes he can lead us down that path.”

Franco is Usuthu’s ninth coach since 2019, an indication that the KwaZulu-Natal club are becoming one of the more unstable teams around, having gone through three coaching changes last season.

Madrid-born Franco has been unemployed for the past year, but at least he has the experience of having coached in Africa, as he held the fort at Tanzanian side Simba albeit just for a brief period between November 2021 and May 2022.

His CV shows he has served as an assistant at Real Madrid and also coached Getafe in the Spanish La Liga, although neither spell lasted a year.

But Usuthu – who finished a distant 12th last season despite employing Brandon Truter, Romain Folz and Ayanda Dlamini in separate coaching stints – believe they have got the correct man to return them to the heady days of a few years ago under Benni McCarthy, who led them to an historic second place in 2020/21.

“We are absolutely delighted at the quality of parties that we interviewed, who shared with us their ideas about Usuthu. Usuthu is loved and seen as a very attractive prospect. We emerged with one name. A name that the players will be very happy with.

"We believe that the local league will be richer with a person of this gentleman’s calibre coming to the DStv Premiership,” stated Zungu, who added Franco had been given Zulu combat name of Cijimpi, meaning "sharpen the warriors).

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