The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) wants its soccer
programme to be rated among the top three in South African university circles newly
appointed head coach Delron Buckley.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) wants its soccer programme to be rated among the top three in South African university circles newly appointed head coach Delron Buckley.
The Durban-born ex-Bafana Bafana and German Bundesliga player says he will give his all to help achieve that as he also aims to get UKZN football sides and players at all levels to be the best they can be.
He wants the talented individuals going on to develop and improve to the extent they win places in the national squad or get professional contracts with clubs. UKZN’s 2019 men’s captain Nqubeko Dlamini was recently awarded a contract with PSL club Lamontville Golden Arrows.
"The University has hired me to help the side be successful and win, while playing top football at a high level," Buckley said.
"Ultimately, they want UKZN to be the best university team in South Africa and if we reach that pinnacle that will be a huge achievement. I have to see how things go before making up my mind about any changes and start implementing on how I think development should operate.”
Buckley, who grew up in the tough Durban suburb of Sydenham, has been widely welcomed by UKZN players and officials alike.
Vice-captain of the side and first-year BSc student Mxolisi Mthiya admires Buckley and his approach that he will bring to the side.
"Our new coach is top class and has the full backing of the team. He is clear about what he wants and that is for the team to score goals and win games. We are all excited about what he brings - we couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Manager of Student Health and Sport at UKZN Mark Bashe Is excited to see how Buckley can transform the approach to the beautiful game at the university.
“Delron is a great acquisition for us. We would love to see him create a new football strategy for UKZN and help us achieve our ambitions which include being among the top three University teams in whatever competition we participate in and to have a good side to send to the African Universities Championships in Ghana next year.”
The men’s first team, known as UKZN Impi, play in two major annual competitions this year – the FNB-sponsored Varsity Football Tournament in Pretoria and the University Sports South Africa tournament (USSA) in Cape Town. They won the USSA competition in 2018 while the best they have done at the Varsity Football Top 8 event is sixth.
That soccer is popular at the University is crystal clear - more than 4000 men and women play the game at various levels on the different campuses!
Buckley was a member of the Bafana Bafana squad (73 appearances, 10 goals), and played at the World Cup tournaments in France in 1998 and in Japan/Korea in 2002 as well as at the Olympic Games in Australia in 2000.