Usuthu have been the surprise package in the PSL this season, fending off some of the PSL big guns to end in second position on the table

AmaZulu’s Zimbabwe international Talent Chawapiwa has revealed the close bond which the players share with head coach Benni McCarthy and how it has contributed to their success this season.

Even with the takeover of the Durban club by Sandile Zungu, and the subsequent raft of new signings, it could be argued that AmaZulu have punched above their weight this season.

After all, it can often take a while to get a whole lot of new players to gel with the team in the very first season, even more so when a coach arrives a couple of months into the campaign as McCarthy did.

By his own admission, Chawapiwa says the Usuthu players were not totally convinced they could deliver on Zungu’s mandate.

“The new owner wanted a top four finish, and everyone was laughing, even us as players, we were doubting,” the former Baroka FC winger told the Herald.

Chawapiwa strongly believes that it has been McCarthy’s ability to bond with his players which has contributed to the success.

“We call him player, because sometimes, he joins us in training, his behaviour is just like a player,” the Zimbabwean elaborated.

“To us he is our brother, he is in his early 40s and is like our brother, I have learnt a lot from him, if you play well at training, he puts you in.

“He is a guy who gives confidence to his players, who supports his players and wants us to achieve what he achieved.

“He played in SA, Amsterdam, he went to Spain, England and Portugal so there is nothing that you can tell him, he has seen it all.

“It is amazing to have him, he is a humble guy, a good guy, his communication with players is quality.”

AmaZulu end their season with a KwaZulu-Natal derby on Saturday away at Maritzburg United.

Their second-placed berth is already secure as they are four points above third-placed Orlando Pirates.

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