United skipper to leave for SuperSport

2014-02-03 00:00

PREMIERSHIP strugglers Maritzburg United will lose their skipper Michael Morton at the end of the current campaign.

Morton, whose deal with the Team of Choice runs out at the end of the season, will become a SuperSport United player, having signed a pre-contract with the Pretoria club.

With an eye on perhaps getting an international call up in the future, Morton told The Witness that despite his strong feelings towards United, he felt it was the right move to further his career.

“I’ve always felt like that [national team call up] is what has been lacking in my career. I’m not saying it will happen automatically, but I will have an opportunity,” Morton said.

Due to his happiness at United, and having being made captain at the beginning of the season, leaving was not something he thought about for a long time, he said.

“I’ve always been happy at Maritzburg, but when a team like SuperSport, which is one of the biggest in the country comes calling, it’s very difficult to say no to.”

Club manager Quintin Jettoo said yesterday that Matsatsantsa had informed them they were negotiating with Morton 10 days ago.

“On Tuesday they informed us they had reached an agreement.

“Michael has served the club for two-and-a-half years, which will be three at the end of the season and we respect his need for a new challenge. He has now told us he will be fully committed to the club until the end of the season,” Jettoo said.

He said they would go into the market to replace the all-action player once the season finishes.

“It’ll be difficult to bring in someone in this transfer window, but we’ll be going in the market for a replacement once the season finishes,” he said.

United have also announced on their website that they have completed the deal to bring Bongolethu Jayiya to the club on loan from Bidvest Wits, beating Ajax Cape Town to his services.

“We’re very pleased to have been able to bring in a player of the calibre of Bongolethu, who joins on a six-month loan deal until the end of the season,” he said.

Jettoo felt the 23-year-old would bring several attacking options due to his ability to play on the wing and up front.

Meanwhile, preparations for the club’s next league fixture on Wednesday against the University of Pretoria were going ahead smoothly.

“Everything is going very well,” the skipper said. “Steve [Komphela] has had a very good impression on the guys. He’s told us that we don’t deserve to be where we are on the table, and we’ll be looking to climb up the table.”

The Team of Choice will begin the second half of the campaign being led by their third coach of the season following the sacking of Clinton Larsen after just two-and-a-half months following his appointment as Ernst Middendorp’s replacement.

The club sits third from bottom and are just three points ahead of fellow KwaZulu-Natal strugglers and bottom side Golden Arrows.

• lunga.biyela@witness.co.za

@KingBiyela on Twitter

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