Manousakis: Usuthu’s pre-season off to positive start

AmaZulu FC assistant coach Vasili Manousakis

AmaZulu FC assistant coach Vasili Manousakis says the team’s preparations for the 2021/22 season are on track.

Usuthu had a successful 2020/21 campaign which saw the team finish second in the DStv Premiership and secure qualification for the 2021/22 CAF Champions League.

The KwaZulu-Natal giants began their pre-season training on Wednesday under the watchful eye of Manousakis, who disclosed that the mood is high in the camp.

“It is good to be back at training. It is good to be back on the field again. The boys have come back in good spirits with smiles on their faces,” Manousakis said.

“[They are] happy to be training again. Obviously, they had their individual training programs which they worked on during the break.

“They are back as a group, we are integrating some of the MDC [MultiChoice Diski Challenge] players that have joined us for pre-season training and of course, some new faces.”

The former Cape Town City assistant coach indicated that the team is likely to play in pre-season tournaments as part of the preparation for the new campaign.

“We have pushed them very hard. We have a vigorous pre-season program ahead of us,” he continued.

“But we are looking forward to it. If all goes well, [we will have] some tournaments to play in and a camp away from home depending on the lockdown restrictions.

“Everyone tested for COVID-19 and everybody is happy and healthy. So, we are good to go. We are excited to get up and running.”

Manousakis is currently in charge of the team with the club’s head coach Benni McCarthy expected to return to South Africa from Scotland next week.

“My role is to keep the head coach informed on a daily basis. We touch base every evening with him still being in Scotland,” he added.

“But he will be back at the back end of next week. It is business as usual at AmaZulu. Between me, coach Bhele [Siyabonga Nomvethe] and coach Moeeneb [Josephs], we are really excited to have the boys back.

“We could see after day two that the boys are really up for it. It is good to be back. We will take it from there.”