AmaZulu coach Pablo Franco Martin says signing a quality defender like Taariq Fielies, who was named Cape Town City’s Player of the Season last term, was key to push them to be stronger this season.
Usuthu signed Fielies from the Citizens before the transfer window was closed, and Martin said he was a player that caught his attention during the start of the season and informed his president to go for him.
Fielies, on his first start with Usuthu, earned a man of the match as they drew with Polokwane City late last month.
The 31-year-old scored the later winner as Usuthu stunned Kaizer Chiefs in the first round of the Carling Knockout Round of 16 at FNB Stadium, beating Itumeleng Khune with a low shot in the box.
It was historical day for Usuthu as they beat Chiefs for the first time in the knockout competition in the PSL era.
“Maybe it was a surprise to you guys, but it is not for me because I was chasing him as a coach and I have told to the president [Sandile Zungu] before we signed him three to four weeks ago,” Martin replied to iDiski Times when asked on the surprise addition of Fielies.
“This after we saw there is an opportunity to sign and I knew him before, I knew him how good he was and I was sure that he was one of the guys who can help us to be dominance in the games.
“But we also know the qualities of Fielies in defence and the capacity to score goals, this is something that is very important for our team right now.
“We know that maybe we are not that strong in converting in the last third, but we have plenty players who can add goals. When you have players in the defence, in the middle, in our current moment this is very important.
“We knew he has all that and we were chasing him. If we want to be great as a team, we need these kinds of players.”
However, Fielies might not be part of Usuthu when they visit Chippa United at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday (17:45) after he picked up an injury and was taken off in the 22nd minute when they drew with Orlando Pirates at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday.