Why AmaZulu chose Cijimpi from Spain!

Simba FC head coach, Pablo Franco Martin during the CAF Champions League 2021/22 quarterfinal Simba FC press conference held at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on 23 April 2022. ©Thabang Lepule/BackpagePix

The person who will lead AmaZulu during the upcoming DStv Premiership season has been found. This comes after AmaZulu Chairman Sandile Zungu announced that a Spanish man by the name of Pablo Franco Martin would be the team’s coach.

Martin’s arrival follows a two-week hunt for a coach after Ayanda Dlamini was sacked. Martin has been given the isiZulu name ‘Cijimpi.’

The Chairman was unsatisfied with Dlamini’s tenure after replacing Romain Folz, who was sinking AmaZulu despite being beloved by him. Cijimpi is no stranger to African football, having previously coached Simba SC and Getafe in his native country.

“AmaZulu had interest from a number of coaches. The coaches in which we were interested managed DStv Premiership teams as well as some from South America and Europe.

“The quality of coaches we interviewed during our process of hunting for a coach impressed us,” said Zungu, a successful businessman in South Africa.

“AmaZulu are loved, but it cannot be coached by just anyone. We came up with a name after conducting extensive interviews that we believe will resonate well with our players and supporters. Pablo ‘Cijimpi’ Franco Martin is the one in question. We welcome Cijimpi,” said Zungu.

Cijimpi has agreed to a three-year contract with the KwaZulu-Natal team.

Since firing Benni McCarthy, who is currently the forwards coach of England’s Manchester United, AmaZulu has struggled to maintain stability. Two years ago, McCarthy led AmaZulu to a second-place finish in the DStv Premiership and made its CAF Champions League debut. Following that, things went downhill. Last season, Brandon Truter, Folz, and Dlamini were unsuccessful in getting Usuthu into the Top 8.

“He coached in Kuwait and Tanzania, where he was well-known for playing Simba football. He also served as the coach of the Getafe team in Spain. We are pleased to have Cijimpi here because we want everyone who loves AmaZulu to enjoy his work,” said Zungu explaining his decision.