AmaZulu has high hopes for frontline with new man Andre de Jong
Coach Calvin Johnson backs the pairing of young New Zealander and veteran Lehlohonolo Majoro
Cape Town — Calvin Johnson hopes new signing Andre de Jong will prove to be an even better catch than Emiliano Tade as the AmaZulu coach builds towards the new 2019/2020 Premiership season.
The New Zealander‚ who has Dutch parents‚ has netted 28 goals in 36 games in the last two seasons with Eastern Suburbs and joins Usuthu with veteran Lehlohonolo Majoro to bolster the frontline.
“Andre played in the same league as Tade and scored even more goals than Emiliano‚ so we are very excited about him‚” Johnson said. “He is also a lot younger at 22‚ so hopefully once he understands the level of SA football‚ which is higher [than New Zealand]‚ he will be another excellent buy.
“We believe he can bring something‚ but you know there is a period of adapting and the player has to accept the new environment that he is in.”
Usuthu must make up for the departure of stalwarts Siyabonga Nomvethe and Mabhuti Khenyeza‚ who both retired in the past few months.
Johnson says De Jong and Majoro will be among a handful of new signings for the club as he looks to consolidate on two strong years for AmaZulu.
The club have also signed a new two-year deal with defender Tshepo Gumede and retained the services of full-back Thembelani Sikhakhane, on loan from Orlando Pirates.
“We are in year three of a five-year plan and it is about adding to the core of last year’s squad‚ rather than bringing in a lot of new faces‚” Johnson explains.
“You have to give players an opportunity to prove themselves and then they must come to the party. Once you see who does that‚ then you know who is right to continue and build for the next years.
“After year three you should be in a position to see if you can win something, and that is what we are building towards.”