United hoping to have Smeekes back for Chippa clash

2013-03-28 00:00

INJURIES in sport can be horrific, and the broken foot that Maritzburg United attacking midfielder Orlando Smeekes picked up in November last year has been just that.

After his five months on the sidelines and endless rehabilitation sessions, United are hopeful to have the 31-year-old Dutchman available for Sunday’s PSL clash against Chippa United at Harry Gwala Stadium.

After joining the club from German third-tier side SV Wehen Wiesbaden at the start of the season, Smeekes took a while to adjust to the rigours of PSL football. But before long, his electric pace and neat first touch made him a crowd favourite in Pietermaritzburg.

But injury struck just as he was starting to look like a player who would feature prominently in United’s quest to finish in the top half of the table. Nobody has felt his absence more than coach Ernst Middendorp, whose side has struggled in front of goal at times.

But even if Smeekes doesn’t feature against Chippa, the fact that he is near a return to first team football seems enough for him at this juncture.

With no other injuries or suspensions to speak of, United will be firm favourites to dismantle a Chippa side that are bottom of the table and have one just once in their last 10 encounters. Ony Ghanaian winger Frank Sarfo-Gyamfi is unavailable as he continues his duty with his national U20 side.

Elsewhere in the PSL, Kaizer Chiefs captain and goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune, is focused on guiding the team to success.

Chiefs had six of their squad members in the Bafana Bafana team that defeated the Central African Republic 2-0 on Saturday in a World Cup qualifier.

The log leaders will be looking to continue their dominance of the ­Absa Premiership on Sunday when they take on Bloemfontein Celtic at the Free State Stadium.

Chiefs take on Maritzburg United in Polokwane on Wednesday. They head to Durban for their clash with Golden Arrows on April 6.

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