Carl Peters
Sport Editor
3 minute read
23 Jun 2022

‘No need to worry,’ says new Maritzburg United coach

Carl Peters

Maritzburg United have urged any concerned fans not to panic over the fact that no new player signings have been made for next season yet.

Maritzburg United have urged any concerned fans not to panic over the fact that no new player signings have been made for next season yet.

The “Team of Choice” were among a number of clubs who parted company with many players at the end of last season after deeming them surplus to requirements for the 2022/23 DStv Premiership, which is set to launch in mid-August.

The local outfit released eight players, notably ageing defenders. Head coach Ernst Middendorp was also sacked for having failed to lead the team to a position in the top half of the 16-team standings in the campaign that ended in late May.

But the club, headed by businessman Farook Kadodia, has yet to join the flood of signings fashioned by several outfits in recent days, despite their pre-season training due to begin on July 1.

New players still unknown

While a new head coach does exist in the form of John Maduka, snapped from Royal AM, Kadodia’s outfit have yet to confirm any of the 10 new players he said they planned to hire at the end of last season.

However, Kadodia is currently assuring fans that plans are quietly being worked on and that just over a month of solid preparations can be made for the new season with a full squad.

“There is no need to worry. Everything will come together by July 7,” Kadodia said during a trip to the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.

“We are trying to finalise the technical team.

“Only Calvin Shipley, the physio, has survived from last season.

“We are negotiating contracts for the technical team and some players,” he said.

He said they still plan to sign a strong group of players, especially for the backline.

He said: 

“We want to sign two central defenders, one leftback, one left wingback, one right wingback and one defensive midfielder. We have an option on a goalkeeper and players are to be promoted from our Diski team.”

In addition, Kadodia previously said they plan to play much more appealing football than was the case during their relegation-battle last season under Middendorp.

Not relying on Msunduzi money

He also said then that the club’s board of directors would look hard to find the resources needed for team improvements, considering that money promised by the local municipality in the latest of three sponsorship contracts between the parties has yet to materialise.

That is because of the city’s well-known and controversial financial struggles.

The new Premiership campaign is scheduled to begin on August 12, with the MTN knockout competition’s quarter-finals coming just before that on August 6, according to the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

The season will also be marked by an extended break from November 6 to January 7 due to the World Cup taking place from November 21 to December 18, followed by the usual Christmas break.

But the top-flight season is set to finish at the usual time in May next year, with the Nedbank Cup final as the final fixture, while the promotion race in the GladAfrica Championship will commence on August 20.