Somewhat of a clear-out took place at Maritzburg United during the offseason. With Cuthbert Malajila expected to move to Mamelodi Sundowns any day now, a further four first team players were released earlier. Byrone Hendricks, Mthokozisi Yende, Wayne Matle and Francis Chansa were let go in late May.
This means coach Ernst Middendorp will be eager to bring in some reinforcements to help turn United into a genuine top eight contender. Last season the Team of Choice looked to be strong candidates for a top eight finish, before a late season lapse in form saw them drop 19 points in their last 10 matches played.
United right-back, Peter Petersen, is confident that Middendorp will bring in more players as the club readies itself for the 2013/14 season. However, he pointed out to the Siya crew that this re-strengthening process is not fully underway yet.
He said, “I think last season it showed in the end, we didn’t have enough depth (United finished 11th). The coach has said he’s going to strengthen in certain departments. Someone like Cuthbert Malajila has scored some important goals for us, but I’m sure the coach will find a replacement.
“Don’t forget Terrence Mandaza scored seven goals mainly off the bench though. Maybe next season will be his season – you never know. It’s always difficult to replace experienced players but I think the coach has got a plan.
“There’s been no new faces at training yet, apart from the two new guys who joined us at the start (Thokozani Sekotlong and Nhlanhla Vilakazi).”
By David Minchella
Follow David on Twitter: @DavidLaduma