Chivuta savours debut against old side SuperSport

2009-08-04 00:00

NEW midfielder Noah Chivuta could have a thing or two to prove when he makes his Maritzburg United debut against previous team Supersport United in the Premier Soccer League’s opening game of the 2009/10 season at Woodburn Stadium on Friday night (8 pm).

The Zambian international was a headline signing to SuperSport from Wits University at the beginning of last season. But he got precious little time to demonstrate the educated left foot that caught the eye of Gavin Hunt when Chivuta was in good form for two seasons at Wits University, and the midfielder mostly watched from the bench as the Pretoria team cantered to their second successive league title.

Chivuta will have a good idea what to expect against SuperSport. The midfielder says it is the champions’ renowned organisation and coach Hunt’s competitiveness that are the main catalysts to the club’s recent success.

“It’s not like they’ve got such good players but they are the league’s best-organised team on the field. If they lose then it’s easy for them to point out what went wrong, because their style is so simple.”

Chivuta has joined for his second stint at United having campaigned with the side under Boebie Solomons in the Mvela League in 2004/05, both as a central midfielder and left-sided player.

“Of course there’s a lot that’s different at the club now, even though the management is still essentially the same,” he said.

“The team’s playing at a much higher level and there’s so much money in this league now, and the pressure is really on to stay in it.

“Our target is to reach the top eight, and then see what we can do from there. There have been a lot of changes in the team — there’s about 12 of us new guys. It’s a young team with not so many big names.

“But while I’ve been training here for the past two weeks all the players have been working hard and I think they all want to put their hands up and be recognised.”

The midfielder will be glad to be at a team where he is guaranteed more game time.

“Things didn’t go as I expected at SuperSport because I didn’t intend to spend time on the bench, and get just five starts and nine games as a substitute,” he said.

“For the first two months I was waiting for my papers for my permanent residence and by the time they came the team was already playing well and had their momentum, and it was hard to break in.

“But when I was given a chance I did my best and I never really felt I did badly.”

Chivuta’s inaction at SuperSport has not affected his chances with the Zambian national team and he has made four appearances in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, so he should be a quality acquisition for United.

* Tickets (grandstand R30, open stand R20) available at United’s offices (397 Victoria Road), SuperSave in Retief Street and Computicket.

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