United storm into the PSL

2008-06-29 00:00

MARITZBURG United are back in the Premier Soccer League, winning promotion with a convincing 2-0 victory over FC AK at Harry Gwala Stadium yesterday in the second leg of National First Division play-off final.

The victory gave United a 3-1 aggregate advantage, having drawn 1-1 in the first leg at Eldorado Park in Johannesburg on Wednesday. A crowd of around 8 000 people was a major factor in the victory, secured by two goals from striker Fadlu Davids.

After the final whistle, thrilled fans and players celebrated wildly on the pitch, accompanied by an impressive fireworks display.

United chairman Farouk Kadodia said: “For Pietermaritzburg, this is a special moment because we have never had this sort of experience here. Last time we went into the PSL by buying a franchise.”

United will now compete in the country’s top soccer league again, albeit aware that survival in the financially rich, competitive PSL will not be easy. They survived their first season by a single point, before being relegated last year.

Kadodia said the professional attitude shown by United in winning the PSL shows the club has learnt from past mistakes.

Making United’s first season back in the PSL more difficult is that the team have a limited time to buy new players and give their current players a rest, because of the bribery case against FC AK, which delayed the NFD final.

“I would say we are already about a month behind the other PSL teams in our preparations for next season. We will work overnight to make sure our planning is on track,” said Kadodia.

United’s Ghanaian captain, John Arwuah, paid tribute to the fans who roared United on yesterday.

“The crowd really helped us to win this game,” he said. “It was a tough season and very frustrating waiting to play in the finals. And winning 2-0 at home was so good.”

Striker Davids scored six goals in United’s last four pressure games.

“It’s fantastic [being promoted],” he said. “When we were relegated, it was the darkest period of my career, but I told myself that I am going to help this team come back and I thank God I could do that.”

On United’s crowd support, Davids said: “If we can take this crowd into the PSL I am sure we will surprise a lot of people”.

“If we can keep the continuity of the coach and the players and build on that, sign three or four experienced players, we have the foundation now and I am sure we will do well in the PSL.”

Striker Collen Zimba said: “It’s great for all of us, especially those who were here last season when the team got relegated, because now we have been able to get the team back.”

Financially the victory has also been lucrative for United, who receive R350 000 for winning the NFD title. United will receive a monthly grant of R1 million in the PSL, compared to R150 000 in the NFD, and a PSL franchise is worth more than R40 million.

Kadodia was evasive when asked what bonuses his players will receive, saying only: “It will be in the bank accounts tomorrow. Every employee from the office receptionist to the bus driver, the players and coaches will benefit from this.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.