United to keep goalie Walters

2010-07-03 00:00

WHEN Maritzburg United show up for pre-season training this afternoon, two key players who contributed to the club’s impressive finish towards the end of last season will be missing, but there should be a sigh of relief among the players at the sight of goalkeeper Shuaib Walters.

The Cape Town goalminder will be seen in the colours of United this season, probably for a lengthy stay following successful negotiations between United and Bloemfontein Celtic over his permanent release.

After twiddling his thumbs on the Celtic bench, United offered Walters a lifeline by bringing him on board midway through last season. He fitted in with the team’s style, his shot-stopping ability and organisation being evident in strengthing the last line of defence, which had been leaking badly.

His impressive input in steering the team towards the top-eight finish earned him a call-up to Bafana Bafana after SuperSport United goalie Emille Baron sustained a shoulder injury.

United chairperson Farouk Kadodia told The Witness that while they were excited to have bagged the talented keeper on a three-year deal, they are hoping to hold on to another key player they loaned, midfielder Kurt Leintjies, who returned to Mamelodi Sundowns.

Leintjies’s return to the City of Choice hinges on the outcome of the U.S. trials he’s set to undergo soon.

Said Kadodia, “His agent has told us he is sending him to the U.S. for trials. Should nothing materalise there, then we will resume talks with all parties concerned regarding his coming over to us again.

“As for Walters, it is important that we have sorted out his situation quickly because the goalkeeping department is one area that’s been problematic for us since we ventured into the PSL. With Walters’ experience and having rubbed shoulders with big name players at the World Cup, we believe he’s coming with something positive that will rub off on the team.”

United are watching with keen interest Mario Booysen (another loan from Ajax Cape Town), who is currently in Turkey hoping to secure a deal there.

Kadodia said they have invited strikers from local and foreign teams to be assessed by coach Ernst Middendorp, who desperately needs someone with a bite in attack.

The club released former Lamontville Golden Arrows and Thanda Royal Zulu’s Norman Smith; Collin Zimba and Ivorian Bryce Aka are on transfer list.

Aka, defender James Madidilane, midfielder Noah Chivuta and Senegalse Vito Badiane (all on transfer list) are expected to report for this week’s pre-season training as there have been concrete offers coming through.

Defender Diego Brown and midfieldesr Lynch Pule and Bheka Phakathi have been released.

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