Veteran coach Clive Barker parachutes in to assist AmaZulu
With the Durban team struggling, officials felt it a good idea to invite Barker to meet the new generation
Former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker made a surprise return to the AmaZulu camp at the weekend, drafted in to help give their beleaguered camp a lift as they lost at Orlando Pirates.
The 75-year-old coach is one of the icons of the local game, and has had a relationship with AmaZulu stretching back to the days when leagues were still divided on colour lines. Barker was among the first whites to coach in the National Professional Soccer League.
With the Durban team struggling, officials felt it a good idea to invite Barker to meet the new generation.
“It reminds everybody what a big club AmaZulu is when you remember that he was the coach,” said spokesperson Brilliant Mkhathini.
Barker, who led SA to triumph at the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations finals, spoke to the players at training last week, and stayed to watch the session.
Then he accompanied the team to the Pirates game at the Orlando Stadium, but elected to stay out of the change room before the game, not to interfere with coach Jozef Vukovic.
Barker had eight spells as coach of Usuthu, including their last silverware success when they won the Coca-Cola Cup in 1992.
He started coaching in 1973 at Maritzburg, one of 11 clubs he has been involved with.
His first professional club was AmaZulu in 1974, but he started the year before at Durban amateur club Fynnland, and got relegated in his first season.
His three league titles came with Durban City in 1982 and 1983 and one with Bush Bucks in 1985.
Barker’s other top flight clubs have been Durban Celtic, Lamontville Golden Arrows, Santos, Manning Rangers, Umtata Bush Bucks, Bidvest Wits and Mpumalnaga Black Aces.
His last job was at Maritzburg United in the 2015/2016 season, where he broke Ted Dumitru’s record as the oldest coach in SA league football aged 71.