Experienced former Bafana Bafana international and Maritzburg United midfielder, Delron Buckley, has strongly criticised the treatment he feels he received at the hands of coach, Steve Komphela.
The 36-year-old was recently told to stop training with the club after it was revealed he was longer in the team's long-term plans. Dillon Sheppard and Robyn Johannes were also asked to no longer train with the first team as well.
United are continuing to pay the players' wage until their deals end in June, however all other ties with the Pietermaritzburg-based outfit have effectively been severed.
Nonetheless, Buckley has hit out at the treatment he feels the club have afforded him. The Durban-born star also added he was determined to play at least another two seasons in the PSL.
He told the Siya crew, "I want to carry on playing. I mean I'm feeling fit. I could've played for Maritzburg if the coach had given me a chance. I've still got the legs to do another two years. Even Komphela said himself that my touches are unbelievable. Even former coach, Ernst Middendorp, put me in central midfield - it's so I can control the game. It worked well. I just didn't have Komphela's belief in me to play me, you know. That's how football works in life, you just have to keep on getting on with it."
Buckley had some strong words for Komphela, saying, "I've been in football for 20 years now. I read between the lines and I smelt the coffee. Yet I was disappointed because it was very unprofessional how everything worked out. It feels as if he used us as a stepping stone to get into the team, but at the end of the day he blew us out of the window."
In the spirit of fair play, the crew contacted United's Team Manager, Quintin Jettoo, to get the club's response to Buckley's statements.
He said, "Komphela joined Maritzburg in January. He has been the consumate professional in all dealings with players and management. He has also carried out his work as a top pro. However, it's unfortunate that senior players who we regard as professional, are being unprofessional. They are making utterances in the media that are totally opposite to the character of our coach."
Soccer Laduma will continue to monitor developments.