"They want us to work hard" - former Chiefs' star shares club ritual
Former Kaizer Chiefs prodigy Hendrick 'Pule' Ekstein are currently playing for AmaZulu FC in the DStv Premiership and has now shared what it's like to play for Usuthu under the strict management of head coach Benni McCarthy. Pule are known for his successful spell with Kaizer Chiefs he had in previous seasons, but now that he's with AmaZulu FC, it's a different style of football for him. According to Pule, at AmaZulu FC the club and the coaches does not look at where you come from and who you played for, if a player wants game-time with Usuthu they need to constantly prove themselves worthy as they need to work hard each and every time during training and on the pitch during competitive fixtures.
Pule says AmaZulu is unlike Mamelodi Sundowns who has players with talent and quality from their goalkeeper to their striker's, as he make out AmaZulu as a working team who has to work hard everytime for a player to land a spot in the starting eleven. AmaZulu has no favourites to start every match it's all about the effort and that's Benni McCarthy and Usuthu's philosophy.
“One thing I can describe about coach Benni and all the coaches who are at AmaZulu, they want us to work hard! Their dream is for the players to work hard and play for the coach and the one thing I love about coach Benni is that he doesn’t play you because you are Pule Ekstein and you are from overseas in Azerbaijan, no. He plays you because he can see that you are working hard at training, not because of your name and so on. He always wants players to work harder than they are working", Pule told the media.
AmaZulu FC are working towards signing players in the January transfer window as the look to land a good spot on the DStv Premiership log at the end of the season like they did last season under Benni McCarthy. They are also looking for new additions for their CAF Champions League journey which are soon to kick off the group stages. So if players does not work hard like Pule says McCarthy expect from them, new players added to the team could claim that spots.
“Even if you can see the AmaZulu team, there’s no players like [Mamelodi Sundowns] players where you could find talent everywhere from goalkeeper to the strikers. So AmaZulu is a working team whereby you need to work for you to start playing. So with coach Benni you must work first before you can play", Pule concluded.
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