Former Real Madrid assistant coach Pablo Franco Martin has been named AmaZulu’s new head coach, the club announced on Tuesday.

Pablo has signed a three-year contract until June 2026 at the KwaZulu-Natal outfit, and he is understood to be tasked with steering Usuthu to fight for top positions in the DStv Premiership.

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Former LA Liga’s Getafe boss has been out of work since last year May, when his time with the Tanzanian giants, Simba SC came to an end. But he is now back in Africa to take charge of Usuthu.

The Spanish coach replaces Ayanda Dlamini who was in charge as an interim coach towards the end of the season. Usuthu ended in position 12 in the 2022/2023 season under its former striker’s guidance.

Dlamini was appointed after AmaZulu restructured their technical team, moving head coach Romain Folz to a technical advisor role. Both Dlamini and Folz have now parted ways with the club.


The club’s President Sandie Zungu has confirmed the appointment of Martin as the 43-year-old tactician. He emerged as the unanimous choice among the club’s board.

“Following an intense two weeks after the announcement to appoint the new Head Coach of Usuthu, Club President Sandile Zungu has today roped in the services of Spaniard, Pablo Franco Martin on a 36-month-long deal,” said Zungu in a statement.

AmaZulu name ex-Madrid assistant Pablo Franco Martin as new boss
AmaZulu President Sandie Zungu

“We are absolutely delighted at the quality of the parties that we interviewed. Usuthu is loved and seen as a very attractive prospect. We emerged with one name. A name that the players will be very happy with, the supporters, sponsors, and directors of AmaZulu Football Club. We believe that the local league will be richer with a person of this gentleman’s calibre coming to the DSTV Premiership.

“In true Usuthu tradition style, Gwabini has dubbed the Spaniard, “Cijimpi” which is synonymous with sharpening of Zulu warriors to war. Franco will also join the squad next week to begin his pre-season program.”

By Clifton Mabasa