AmaZulu general manager Peter O’Connor says the club are still on the lookout for players in two positions as they prepare to step up their pre-season training this week, their second one back following the off-season.
Usuthu made a low-key return to their People’s Park training base last week with some of their new signings like Sadate Ouro-Akoriko, who signed from Free State Stars, and ex-University of Pretoria and Lamontville Golden Arrows goalkeeper Siya Mngoma in attendance.
New Zambia striker Bornwell Mwape is expected to report for duty this week as the club gears up towards the new season.
All the offensive positions within the squad are yet to be filled as Craig Rosslee continues his search for a winger and another striker to try and beef up his unconvincing attack, which produced just 27 goals in 30 games last season.
That was the third worst in the division and was ultimately one of the big reasons why they missed out on a place in the top eight.
“The wing is always a tough position, as is the striking position, but I’m confident we’ll be able to fill those spaces,” O’Connor said. “Striking is a problem in South Africa and if you look at it, a large majority of the strikers are foreigners.
“We’ve brought in Mwape from Zambia, he’s the only one that’s arrived a little bit late for pre-season.
“We just have one foreign spot left and we have to be careful how we fill it.
“At the moment we have a few trialist with us still and the coach needs to decide about them, so we’re nearly there.”
Also amongst the forwards, Bongani Ndulula is back training after renewing his contract, and along with Mwape, will provide competition for the likes of Lucky Nguzana and Ayanda Dlamini.
“Bornwell will hopefully fill that striking role for us,” O’Connor said. “He’s promised me a number of goals, so we’ll see whether he delivers.”
A number of players have also left Durban, the likes of Keamogetse Wolff, Lunga Zondi, Pinehas Jacob and Philani Zikalala.
But O’Connor felt they were now ready to look ahead to the new term, when AmaZulu will be hoping to make up for the disappointment of missing out on the top eight on the final day of the season.
“Everyone’s excited to be back and training again,” he added. “I think all the guys are looking fit and well after what seems to be a quick off-season turnaround.
“There’s a couple of players that are little bit behind because of injuries, guys like Larry (Horaeb), who broke his leg, and (Tapuwa) Kapini after his neck injury. But they’re also back in training again and we look forward to a successful season ahead.”
Weekend reports have linked Arrows midfielder Philani Shange and Raymond Monama of Mamelodi Sundowns to moves to Usuthu.