Ready for action Ready for action

2016-08-24 06:00
                            PHOTO: gallo images Maritzburg United captain Kurt Lentjies says he and his team-mates are ready for the new season with the team taking on Bloemfontein Celtic in the league opener in Bloemfontein tomorrow.

PHOTO: gallo images Maritzburg United captain Kurt Lentjies says he and his team-mates are ready for the new season with the team taking on Bloemfontein Celtic in the league opener in Bloemfontein tomorrow.

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WITH the new Absa Premiership campaign kicking off tomorrow, Maritzburg United are raring to go, and to put the ghosts that haunted them for so long last season to bed.

The Team of Choice spent virtually the entirety of 2015/16 at the foot of the table, surviving by the skin of their teeth with 10 points from their last four games in what must be ranked as the greatest of great escapes in the Premier Soccer League era.

Now, things are looking different for United, whose preparations this time last year were hampered by the sudden resignation of coach Steve Komphela.

This time around, coach Ernst Middendorp has been with the team for a considerable amount of time, and his planning saw the club sign a number of experienced players.

Skipper Kurt Lentjies, who became the club’s record goal scorer towards the end of the last campaign, was eager to get going and start the season on a positive note.

“Everyone is fit and we’re looking forward to the new season,” Captain Fantastic said.

“We’re looking to start the league on a positive note.

“We obviously have goals we have set, but we’re going to take it one game at a time.”

Many who watched United last season believed the 31-year-old Lentjies was unlucky not to be rewarded with a national team call-up. But, that ship has already sailed.

“The national team has been deleted from mind for a long time,” Lentjies said. “My goal is to focus on doing well for the club.

“The goals of the team come first, and they come even ahead of mine. For me, it’s about doing my best for the team,” he said.

After opening the campaign against Celtic, the Team of Choice have a tough start to the season­ that sees them face the two teams who have won the last four league titles, in Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs.

The game against Sundowns on 14 September will be their first home game, while the first KZN derby of the season against bitter rivals Golden Arrows will be on 28 October.

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