Maritzburg United Football Club
Nickname: The Team of Choice
Home Ground: Harry Gwala Stadium, Pietermaritzburg; KwaZulu-Natal (12, 000)
Coach: Mandla Ncikazi
2014/15 League Finish: 8th
Star Players To Watch: David Booysen, Ryan De Jongh, Kurt Lentjies, Mondli Cele
Young Guns To Watch: Veleyeke Zulu, Bandile Shandu, Siyabulela Shai, Deolin Mekoa, Ayanda Nkosi
The Grand Stand View
The true overachievers of last season, Maritzburg United were rewarded for their impressive performances with the best ever league finish in the club’s history; the results of such great performances often end up in the gaffer having his head turned by more exciting and resourceful projects at bigger clubs, their case was no exception to that rule. Great commendation ought to go to the management over in Pietermaritzburg for the brevity and sensibility shown in affording a young South African gaffer the opportunity to show what he can do at the elite level while in the hot seat; Mandla Ncikazi served as Steve Komphela’s assistant during his tenure at the club and he will surely look to utilise his knowledge of the squad and the players currently within the system to ensure that the organisation maintains the lofty standards they have set for themselves.
One shouldn’t expect to see much difference in the systems deployed and the playing style of the squad this season, and that will largely be thanks to the continuity in approach and ideology that the new gaffer will bring to his new role. We cannot expect to see Maritzburg finish in the top 8 yet again this season, as the sides below them will be much stronger and one or two may have an experienced gaffer who will find a way to win more points for their side; there is a great deal of optimism around the club due to the progress they’ve made, and that good morale will be key if they are looking to solidify themselves as a top half of the table side this season, that being said, there is no doubting that they will be a tough obstacle to remove from that 8th spot. I have no qualms going on record to state that the club will stay clear of relegation trouble all season, if they focus on the clubs above them on the league table, they will be in a good position come the end of May as they have the strength and class to deal with most of the clubs below them and their tight defensive unit, coupled with their great team ethic will make them a threat yet again when they face the more illustrious sides.