Historic start to PSL season for United

2013-08-01 00:00

MARITZBURG United’s opening PSL fixture against Polokwane City on Saturday holds historic significance for the city.

The game will pit the Team of Choice up against the original Maritzburg United.

“It’s like we’re playing against our brothers,” chairperson Farook Kadodia told The Witness yesterday.

After the Kadodia family purchased Thembisa Classic in 2005, the club was sold and relocated to Port Elizabeth in 2006 changing their name to Bay United.

Two years ago, the club moved to Limpopo and became Polokwane City.

While the original club was ­going through name change after name change, a new Maritzburg United were making a name for ­themselves in the top flight of South ­African football on a tight budget.

Kadodia said the club’s survival without a main title sponsor had been a “major success”, but they needed the entire city to get behind them.

“We need everyone in the city to be behind the team, to keep the flag flying,” Kadodia said.

He said their search for a title sponsor was continuing.

While clubs like Chiefs and Pirates reportedly received over R100 million a season from their title sponsors, and the average for PSL clubs was R10 million, United will be on the back foot from the start. He said the club had to be “box smart” to make sure that it was able to compete against others in the PSL.

“We have to get the right players who will benefit the club.”

Having signed Yakubu Mohammad to lead the line in the new season, the club have been linked with Nigerian international Dele Olorundare.

However, United will have to compete with clubs in Turkey for the in-demand forward who, according to Kick Off, scored 11 goals in 22 games for Sunshine Stars last season.

United’s first game of the season against Polokwane City will kick off at 8.15 pm on Saturday.

Tickets will be R40 for adults and R20 for children.

Spectators can also opt for a “family ticket”, whereby two adult tickets pay R40 each, and two children under age 15 get in for free.

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