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By Sibongiseni Gumbi

Football Writer

Losing top strikers taking toll on Eagles

Losing two players who scored over 30 goals between them is proving to be detrimental to Royal Eagles’s National First Division campaign as they are yet to register a win this season.

The Pietermaritzburg based team lost Sedwyn ‘Zlatan’ George to Ajax Cape Town and Tebogo Monama who has reportedly joined Platinum Stars. George was the division’s top goal scorer last term with 20 while Monama contributed 11.

But the team’s manager James Dlamini is adamant the early setbacks are merely to help them realise it is not going to be easy to climb to the top flight.

“Yes losing those two players will always leave a gap but I think we have signed well and the playes we have are capable of taking us forward,” said Dlamini.

Eagles have signed former Kaizer Chiefs striker, David Zulu; Joshua Sauls who scored 11 times for Witbank Spurs; Mazwi Mncube who scored 12 for Mathatha Bucks; Dillon Solomons and retained Siyanda Ngubo.

With these attackers Dlamini believes they are well equipped upfront. Dlamini said the slow start could be a blessing in disguise in that they have learnt their lessons early on.

“We obviously wanted a better start but it is not a train smash. Sometimes it is better to have a bad start because you learn from the mistakes and become better.

“The players were a bit nervy and we drew the first game through an own goal we scored and failed to convert our chances against Highlands (Park) and they beat us 2-1,” said the former AmaZulu and Golden Arrows official.

Dlamini said the international break has been of help to his team as they managed to get players who had been injured fit and ready and those who missed out as their registration cards had not been ready are now available to play.

Eagles’ next match is a tough one against last season play-offs qualifiers Stellenbosch FC at Harry Gwala Stadium.

“We have played friendlies against Golden Arrows and will play against Maritzburg United tomorrow (today) in a bid to keep fit. We hope we will be on top of our game by Sunday when we play Stellenbosch,” said Dlamini.

NFD Fixtures:

Saturday: University of Pretoria v Highlands Park; Royal Eagles v Stellenbosch FC; Mbombela United v Real Kings; Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila v Jomo Cosmos; Richards Bay FC Mthatha Bucks; Ubuntu Cape Town FC v Super Eagles

Sunday: Witbank Spurs v Cape Town All Stars; Uthongathi FC v Black Leopards.

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