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Maritzburg Explain Players' Release

Maritzburg United have explained why the club deemed veteran players Delron Buckley, Dillon Sheppard and Robyn Johannes surplus to requirements.

The Siya crew broke the news on Monday (April 14) that the trio of players had been instructed to stop training with the first team, although it was unclear at that stage whether they had been released from their contracts or not.

However, news reaching the Siya crew is that the three players were simply not in Steve Komphela's long-term plans, and it was felt they had little left to contribute in the final few weeks of the campaign.

Komphela has enjoyed some success using largely a younger line-up of players since taking over in January, and it's thought he wants to continue improving the squad looking ahead to the 2014/15 season.

Team of Choice Team Manager, Quintin Jettoo, explained the club's reasoning behind no longer involving Buckley, Sheppard and Johannes within the first team squad.

He said, "We basically asked them to not train with the team anymore. There will be an official press release made tomorrow. Of course, we'll continue paying them according to their contracts. We just felt they weren't part of Steve's plans going forward. So, we decided to let them re-charge their batteries and to decide if they want to play elsewhere in future. It's all about planning for next year now. I mean if you go through the stats, Delron started three games all season. Also, since Steve has come in - none of them have started any matches. That's why the decision was taken."

The players' release could potentially signal the end of Buckley and Sheppard's professional playing careers. Buckley is 36 and struggled with niggling injuries in 2013/14. Sheppard is 35 and may also be nearing the end.

What's perhaps less clear is the future of Johannes. The defender is 27 and has been in the PSL since 2004. Yet, he's arguably yet to really establish himself despite previous spells at major clubs like Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates.

In addition, he has made just eight league appearances in his one-and-only season with United.

The crew will monitor each player's indvidual situation and update you as the news comes in.    

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