United spoiled for choice ahead of Black Aces encounter

2014-09-12 00:00

THE international break has been refreshing in terms of Bafana Bafana giving the country something to cheer about, but focus now moves swiftly back to the PSL.

For Maritzburg United, a home clash against Clive Barker’s Mpumalanga Black Aces is on the cards tomorrow afternoon. United have started the season brightly, amassing a respectable eight points from their opening five fixtures.

With options aplenty now that all of his foreign players are up to speed after obtaining their work permits, coach Steve Komphela’s team selection is difficult to predict at the moment. With a host of youngsters impressing in the season’s infant stages, there are selection headaches all over the park — even in goal where the Shu-Aib Walters versus Virgil Vries battle continues unresolved.

The depth is welcomed as United prepare for the weekend, considering that they have a few availability concerns to consider. Centre back Mohammed ­Awal was returning from international duty with Ghana yesterday while attacking midfielder Thokozani Sekotlong had his first full session yesterday as he continues to recover from a groin strain picked up in pre-season. New signing and winger Deolin Mekoa is also ruled out with the knee injury sustained up against Wits on August 20 while another new signing in Sheldon van Wyk is a slight concussion concern after picking up a hard knock yesterday.

“The rest of the players are here and available,” said Komphela yesterday. “It will just be a question of selection.”

One of those available players is Ghanaian international veteran John Paintsil, who has played English Premier League football for Fulham and West ham United. Having spent last season at National First Division outfit Santos, Painstil is now well settled at Harry Gwala Stadium and will likely be used at centre back alongside Kwanda Mngonyama tomorrow.

“It has been great to work with this special team. The coach is very professional and so are the players,” Painstil said after his side’s morning training session yesterday. “The training has been very competitive and we are looking forward to the game.”

Painstil believes United have what it takes to finish in the top half of the table this season, optimistically saying that, “The players here actually have enough quality to win the league.”

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



3 pm: Kaizer Chiefs v University of Pretoria. Maritzburg Utd v Black Aces

6 pm: SuperSport United v Platinum Stars. Polokwane City v AmaZulu

8.15 pm: Orlando Pirates v Wits. Ajax Cape Town v Free State Stars


3 pm: Moroka Swallows v Chippa United. Bloem Celtic v Mamelodi Sundowns.

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