United part with Chillies

2012-08-30 00:00

MARITZBURG United have parted ways with Harry Gwala favourite Kulegani “Chillies” Madondo after the 22-year-old joined KwaZulu-Natal rivals AmaZulu on a three-year deal on Tuesday.

The move is the result of a relationship that had soured with the club after Madondo had expressed a desire to leave for greener pastures last month. The central midfielder refused to train with the squad and missed a large portion of United’s pre-season. After a disciplinary hearing, club chairperson Farouk Kadodia told Madondo that he would have to prove his commitment to the club and win back the trust of the management and players before being considered for selection. But after interest was shown by Bloemfontein Celtic and AmaZulu, Madondo has his wish and will start fresh under manager Roger Palmgren.

“We want to have a good, happy bunch and we didn’t want to keep a player against his will,” Kadodia told The Witness yesterday. “We wish him all the best and know that he will give his new club full commitment.”

Madondo was the longest-serving United player after right back Peter Petersen. Born in Pietermaritzburg, he joined the club in the January transfer window of 2008 and because of his roots, he has been one of the more popular players amongst fans.

“We had a long-term plan for Chillies when he joined us as a youngster,” continued Kadodia. “He showed fantastic growth in his first two seasons with us and filled in marvellously for John Arwuah when he was ruled out for the season with injury.”

A regular member of the SA U23 squad, Madondo has been tipped by many pundits to be a future Bafana Bafana star, but Kadodia has his reservations.

“I think that he is a player that needs good advice and guidance,” said the chairperson. “He also needs to be able to manage his press ravings very well. But there is no doubt that he is a very talented player — we never wanted him to go.”

With the PSL’s transfer window closing tomorrow, Kadodia said that it was unlikely that he would purchase a replacement for Madondo. “If something comes up then we will look at it but I am not desperate,” he said. “We have exhausted our budget.”

United have signed no fewer than eight new players this season and have started the campaign brightly with a draw and a win against University of Pretoria and AmaZulu respectively.

They next face Mamelodi Sundowns at Lucas Moripe stadium on Sunday.

The match kicks off at 3 pm and will be televised on SuperSport 4.

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