Let my boots do the talking, says Team of Choice’s star striker

2012-08-09 00:00

HE was Maritzburg United’s shining light in front of goal at the end of last season, but Zimbabwean striker Cuthbert Malajila said he would rather let his boots do the talking this time around as a new PSL season gets under way for the Team of Choice with an away tie at the University of Pretoria on Sunday.

Malajila, often deployed as a lone striker since his arrival at Harry Gwala in January this year, scored four league goals at crucial times as United finished last season strongly with wins over Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs forming part of their run-in — games in which Malajila scored both deciding goals.

With Diyo Sibisi’s departure from the club in the off-season, Malajila is now certain to spearhead United’s attack, but he is not putting any unnecessary pressure on himself.

“I don’t want to talk about how many goals I think I can score,” the 26-year-old, who has been capped 11 times by his country, told The Witness yesterday. “Obviously I want to improve on last season, but I would rather let my performances on the pitch do the talking.”

He is likely to be deployed as the sole striker in Sunday’s clash at Tuks Stadium with new Kaizer Chiefs signing Mthokozisi Yende playing just behind him in an attacking midfield role.

“We have been training for six weeks now and the team is looking sharp,” said Malajila. “I have played a lot with Yende and he plays like a striker — things are looking good.”

United finished last season in 11th place and have invested heavily in the transfer market ahead of this campaign with a desire to finish in the top half of the 16-team table still very much a priority for the club and fans.

“We want to improve on our league position, but for now we just want to focus on winning our first games and then we can see where we are after five or six matches,” said Malajila.

“I just can’t wait to get the season started — I am in good condition and I am feeling sharp.”

Another new signing for United is Zimbabwean Terrence Mandaza, who is also a striker. While Mandaza is unavailable for selection this weekend due to passport issues, Malajila said he was excited to play with his compatriot.

“It is a big advantage for me playing alongside him,” said Malajila. “But this team is not about one or two players from Zimbabwe. We are all a family and everything we do is as a team.”

Sunday’s match kicks off at 3 pm and will be televised on SABC 1.

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