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Why Johnson wanted AmaZulu’s Ntuli before Mamelodi Sundowns

16:50 BST 02/06/2020
Bonginkosi Ntuli of AmaZulu challenged by Lebogang Manyama of Kaizer Chiefs, March 2020
The former Usuthu manager has heaped praise on the 29-year-old forward, saying he's a hard worker

Former Black Leopards coach Cavin Johnson has showered AmaZulu striker Bonginkosi Ntuli with praise, saying he wanted to sign the burly hitman before he went to Mamelodi Sundowns.

The experienced manager believes the former Golden Arrows forward is one of the best finishers in the Premier Soccer League (PSL), and that the 29-year-old performs better when he is in a comfortable environment.

Although Ntuli is focusing on helping Usuthu escape the relegation battle and secure their PSL status whilst challenging for the PSL top goalscorer award, Johnson hopes he will also join a club similar to the KwaZulu-Natal club.

“I remember that I wanted to sign him from Lamontville Golden Arrows when I was still at Platinum Stars. Unfortunately, he joined Mamelodi Sundowns but things didn’t go well for him,” Johnson told Isolezwe.

“I talked to Pitso Mosimane and he allowed me to have him on loan at Stars. He shined and scored goals for us because I believed in him.

"That is why when we reunited at AmaZulu, I made sure that we sign him permanently by selling Emiliano Tade. He’s a top striker and he is matured. He’s a friendly person and likes to do the job.

“He’s no longer a child, he’s growing up. I like the fact that he has scored a number of goals this season because he’s at a stage where he has to shine because he will get old in the next few years.

“I think what’s important is that he’s well taken care of at AmaZulu. He’s happy and because he’s at home in Durban because he always wanted to work closer from home.

"All I know about him is that he plays well when he’s happy, taken care of and when the team shows faith in him. If he ends up leaving AmaZulu, let’s just hope he will join a team that is similar to AmaZulu.”

Meanwhile, the former Abafana Bes’thende forward has already netted 12 goals this term and will hope to challenge leading scorer Frank Mhango of Orlando Pirates if the season resumes.

Just before the games were suspended due to the coronavirus in March, Ntuli led Usuthu to a hard-fought victory over log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, a win that lifted their spirits as they face the relegation axe.

Coach Ayanda Dlamini’s men sit 15th on the log table with 23 points and have six matches to salvage their top-flight status.