Tonight, Maritzburg United face a tough task as they take on defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns in a league encounter at the Harry Gwala Stadium. The Team of Choice is known for their vibrant support base, and today we get some wisdom from one of their suppoters.
Their campaign begins tonight against Mamelodi Sundowns but we speak to Maritzburg faithful Paul Lutchman about the importance of being behind a local team.
"The Team of Choice will be hoping for better fortunes this season as last season they played very good football but ended up battling for relegation and saving themselves in the last 10 minutes of the season, coming from a goal down against Jomo Cosmos to win 3-1 and survive," Paul said.
"I honestly can't see us being in the same situation as last year. We were playing the best football in the league but battling relegation. We were so positive, we just needed that touch of luck in the last 10 minutes of the season. You know what is the surprising part? When we rocked up to Johannesburg last year for that game against Jomo Cosmos, we rocked up with 500 supporters, they had about 20.
"I've always told the people who were there that day, that only happens once in a lifetime, you will never see that in the PSL again. You had to be there! That's the joy of getting behind a local team and supporting them. You live every moment when you go to the stadium. If you don't go out and get behind the team, then you won't feel the emotion. You watch English soccer and people are so passionate about their communities and the teams that come from there.
"In South Africa, we generalise and associate with these so-called big teams and you lose your sense of belonging. Even if Maritzburg United can lose 10-0, at least if I'm there in the ground I will feel the emotion, but if you watch it on TV, you feel nothing."
What do you think of the way Maritzburg United play football?