Maritzburg United believe they have assembled a playing squad that is capable of fighting for promotion in the National First Division season starting this week.
According to the club, the squad contains plenty of men who have experience of playing in either the DStv Premiership or First Division, which is otherwise known as the Motsepe Foundation Championship.
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More than a handful of the players campaigned for the “Team of Choice” in the Premiership last season before they were relegated, while four players have been promoted from the club’s reserve team to the squad that is currently preparing to tackle Milford in the season-opener at Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.
The other squad members previously played for First Division clubs or impressed coach Zipho Dlangalala enough during trials in pre-season to earn contracts, according to Maritzburg boss Farook Kadodia.
The best known players in the squad include Zambian striker Friday Samu, seasoned defender Tshepo Gumede and experienced midfielders Zukile Kewuti, S’boniso Conco and Leletu Skelem, who all previously featured for Premiership outfits, including Maritzburg.
Kadodia said on Tuesday:
No doubt, we aim to win promotion in the coming season and return to the Premiership. We really believe we have assembled a squad that is going to fight hard for that.
Maritzburg’s main rivals for promotion are expected to include Casric Stars and Marumo Gallants.
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Kadodia said they will not hesitate to make further signings before the transfer window closes next week, should the “right players come along at the right prices”.
In this respect, he is rumoured to be talking to Premiership side SuperSport United about a possible loan deal involving Senegalese striker Serigne Mamour Niang.
On the field itself, the First Division games will run until next May and, once again, the champions will receive automatic promotion to the Premiership, while the runners-up and third-placed team will go to the playoffs with the second-last team from the final Premiership standings.