AmaZulu in talks with La Liga club
Posted: 18 October 2018 Time: 14:45
AmaZulu are looking at striking a deal with RCD Espanyol with a view to showcasing young talent to the Spanish La Liga side.
Usuthu acting chairman Lunga Sokhela, who visited Spain recently, explained the nature of the prospective partnership.
"In Spain, there's a club called RCD Espanyol that we want to have a relationship with," Sokhela revealed.
"There's a lot of things we are looking to do working with each other. Firstly, to develop an academy in South Africa, so that we can give AmaZulu players an opportunity every year, two or three players, to get exposure at a very high league.
"I was lucky, I attended their match against Villarreal (on October 7). Top, top game and you can see technically they are on another level. But also it will help us to gain knowledge moving forward to learn as a club from top leagues that'll enable us to improve.
"So, hopefully soon we'll have an agreement in place to ensure that every year we have some of our members going to Spain. Also the members from Spain coming to South Africa, and when there's pre-season we swap who visits the other and play some friendly matches.
"So these are the things we are looking at partnering with Espanyol."
AmaZulu tried to do a similar thing with Portuguese side Sporting Portugal in the past, but Sokhela says the Durban-based outfit lacked the facilities to move forward.
"We had talks with Sporting Portugal to do something similar," Sokhela said.
"At the end we had problems because we don't have facilities, which is something we have to address very quickly with eThekwini Municipality, and that hampers us because without the facilities you can't have a foundation to build a club.
"You look at clubs abroad, there's a culture to be around the club. You wake up in the morning youngsters are around and in the afternoon ... and it becomes the lifestyle to be part of the club.
"It is something we can't do because we don't have facilities, so it is something we are addressing with the municipality of eThekwini because other municipalities are very much hands-on with other clubs.
"You look at Maritzburg United, Cape Town City, Bloemfontein Celtic, Chippa United, there are so many clubs.
"This will help us in our engagement in our partnership with Espanyol."
Founded in 1900, Barcelona-based Espanyol, who have won four Copa del Reys, are fifth on the log with 14 points from eight matches played.