Carl Peters
Sport Editor
3 minute read
21 Jul 2022
06:24

Maritzburg United lose key player Claasen ahead of new season

Carl Peters

Club boss Farook Kadodia said the 32-year-old Claasen has decided to take up an offer in Egypt with an unspecified club.

Daylon Claasen has decided to take up an offer in Egypt with an unspecified club. PHOTO: GALLO IMAGES

Maritzburg United have lost one of their most recognised players, Daylon Claasen, and have also parted company with experienced goalkeeper Marcel Engelhardt.

Club boss Farook Kadodia disclosed on Wednesday that the 32-year-old Claasen has decided to take up an offer in Egypt with an unspecified club, instead of having an extended association with Maritzburg next season.

The former Bafana Bafana midfielder’s original, three-season deal with the “Team of Choice” ended last month.

Kadodia said his club could have forced Claasen to stay with them for another season because they had a renewal option available to them in his contract, but they have opted not to because the player would have lost out on very good money in Egypt.

Kadodia said:

It just did not seem right to try to keep him here on a much lower salary that what the Egyptians offered him.

Claasen has played for numerous clubs inside and outside the country’s borders since he signed his first professional contract with Ajax Cape Town in 2008.

Goalkeeper Engelhardt (30) is another experienced man who won’t be donning the blue and white of Maritzburg in the DStv Premiership next season.

He joined the team in January 2021 and helped them in two successful relegation dogfights under the guidance of fellow German, Ernst Middendorp.

However, Kadodia said on Wednesday that the club’s new coach, John Maduka, has decided that they can do without Engelhardt because a satisfactory local replacement can be found. This means Engelhardt’s recently-expired contract with Maritzburg is not going to be renewed.

The news about Claasen and Engelhardt comes during the club’s fight against the clock to be ready for the start of the new season under Maduka.

They are due to open their 30-game league campaign on August 6 against big-spending Sekhekhune United at Harry Gwala Stadium.

While seven new players have been signed in recent weeks, possible deals for a much-needed central defender, attacking midfielder and goalkeeper have yet to be concluded, Kadodia confirmed.

We were hoping to announce more signings today, but the coach has asked us to give him a few more days to help him make up his mind regarding six players who have been on trial with us.

“They played a friendly match against Cape Town City today and there will be another against TS Galaxy on Saturday, also in Hilton, and then the coach will tell us which ones he wants to keep.

“This is apart from one or two players we are interested in at other clubs, who have not officially released them yet.”

At the end of last season, Kadodia’s outfit parted ways with a big bunch of players, mostly from their very mature defence, and said they planned to bring in at least 10 new ones to help them in their bid to avoid a third consecutive relegation battle in the Premiership next term.

They also said that they are destined to play a more appealing brand of football with Maduka coaching the side.

However, the coach seems to have limited time to finalise his squad and then complete important physical and tactical work with all the players before the first official game emerges.