Veteran coach Clive Barker returns to AmaZulu

Clive Barker sits in the VIP suits at Orlando Stadium in Soweto during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu on January 25 2020.
Clive Barker sits in the VIP suits at Orlando Stadium in Soweto during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu on January 25 2020.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker made 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 long-standing relationship with AmaZulu, stretching back to the days when leagues were still divided on colour lines only league and Barker was among the first whites top coach in the National Professional Soccer League.

With the Durban team struggling, officials felt it a good idea to invite Barker along to meet the new generation.

“It reminds everybody what a big club AmaZulu is when you remember that he was the coach,” explained spokesman Brilliant Mkhathini.

Barker, who led South Africa to triumph at the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations finals,  spoke to the players at training last week and stayed to watch the session.

He then 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 different spells as coach of Usuthu, including their last silverware success when they won the Coca-Cola Cup in 1992.

Barker started coaching in 1973 at Maritzburg - one of 11 different 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 the year before - 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 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 2015-16 season, where he broke Ted Dumitru’s record as the oldest coach in South African league football aged 71.


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