Since Eric Rudland and Boyzzz Khumalo joined AFC Ann Arbor, Boyzzz has been a trusted advisor to the head coach and beloved by the players. Just last season, the club named an award after him which will be given out every year to a player within the organization who’s somewhat of an unsung hero. Now, though, Khumalo is moving up in the ranks on the side as AFCAA are happy to announce that Khumalo has been named the club’s Technical Director. Eric Rudland said, about the appointment, “The vision of appointing Boyzzz as the TD is to place him in a position where he can positively impact both the men's & women's side of the club by sharing best practices, feedback and ideas to create cohesion between our footballing brand and the way we go about our business.”
“It means a lot to me to be given that title,” Boyzzz said when discussing his new title. “Special thanks to guys like Bilal and Eric, who I’ve worked with for years. It means, to me, that they think highly of me. My job is to be here and help the team. My job is to help both sides, not just the men’s side, but the women’s and the men’s.” A beloved member of the AFCAA Family, he is more than qualified to help find talent and continue assisting the club as a whole.
Boyzzz has been a member of the AFCAA coaching staff since the 2016 season, joining the side from Lansing United, where he worked with Eric Rudland. He also currently serves as an assistant coach for Madonna University and was a co-founder for the Umhlaba Vision Foundation – a foundation that helps make positive influences for young South Africans through both sport and education. Previously, Boyzzz spent time in the MLS with DC United.
His time as a player serves as a way to connect even further with those that are currently active. “I played the game, so, as a player, and now as a coach, I see myself as them,” Boyzzz told AFC. Eric Rudland also added the new technical director, “He was a gifted attacking player in his day and is very good about sharing his visions on style of play. He has been a huge asset in shaping our team's attack and coaching individual attacking players.” His success as a coach and player only prove to serve as more clues that he serves as an exceptional choice in leading the club with his technical directorship.
Boyzzz is well aware that the new position comes with plenty of responsibility, but he has a great understanding of what will need to be done. “The position is always going to be the same as before we had the women’s team; to get as many players as we can. The plan is to do the same thing with the women’s team.” The addition of the women’s side adds an extra dynamic to the position as a whole. With the focus, however, to continue with ‘business as usual’ for both sides despite the women’s team entering an inaugural season, means that Boyzzz already has a grasp on what exactly to do as technical director.
With the season fast approaching, it is already apparent that Boyzzz is looking forward to what is to come. As he tells AFC, “When we start training. I just love being on the field. I’m one of these coaches who loves to hop in on a session.” As any source at the club will tell you, Boyzzz certainly still has ‘it’ when it comes to a kick-about on the training pitch with the regular squad members. When it comes to what he loves about the club, Boyzzz enjoys the camaraderie around the side saying, “The way we train, the way we do things, we do things the professional way. So it’s kind of like getting guys ready for the pro-like level.”
At the end of the day, the new technical director understands exactly how to get the best out those players that he helps to find for the club. “…all the guys that come to us, what do they want to do? They want to go to the next level. That’s the biggest thing for me, trying to help these guys go to the next level. Not only the guys, we’re going to try and do the same thing for the women’s team.” With the stellar coaching staff that includes Boyzzz and his newly-earned position, without question fans should expect to see plenty more AFCAA Family members moving up the ranks in the soccer ladder.