Bartman named Maritzburg United’s new goalkeeper coach

2013-07-09 00:00

MARITZBURG’S prodigal son has ­returned.

Former Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Arthur Bartman, who retired from playing at the end of last season, was yesterday announced as the new goalkeeper coach at Maritzburg ­United.

Media reports yesterday suggested that Bartman was still keen on playing, but he told The Witness his playing days were done and dusted.

He said he was taken aback when the club called him asking if he was interested in taking over from Ronnie Kanalelo, who last week took up his new post as the assistant coach of the Namibian national team.

“I’m excited. It came by as a huge surprise and I never thought it would come so soon,” he said after the first team’s second training session of the day at Carter High School yesterday.

“I’m here as a goalkeeper coach. I’m retired from playing and I look forward to the challenge,” added the former Amakhosi man who filled in for national team No 1 Itumeleng Khune from time to time.

For four years at Chiefs, Bartman worked under one of the most renowned goalkeeper coaches in the country in German Rainer Dinkelacker, who instilled an ethos of hard work in him.

He said he would keep in touch with Dinkelacker during his tenure as goalkeeper coach at United.

“If I do need help, he said he would always be there to help me. I’ll give him a call if I ever need help. I won’t call him only when I need help, I’ll always keep in touch with him.”

For him, he saw his move back to the club as having come full circle.

“It feels good … I started with Maritzburg United when they were in the FPL [Federation Professional League], and now I’m back with them in the PSL.”

He added that having his friends and family still residing in Pietermaritzburg would help him settle quicker.

Asked what he thought of the goalkeepers he would be coaching this coming season, he said: “The club has a good bunch of keepers. Shu-Aib [Walters] was a member of the World Cup squad so he’s experienced, and Virgil [Vries] is an international.”

United’s commercial manager Younus Kadodia told The Witness that they finalised the details with Bartman last week before signing a two-year contract.

“He’s quite eager to improve himself and to learn,” Kadodia said.

“We’re bringing back someone from the city to the city,” he said about the new coach, who also played for Moroka Swallows and SuperSport United during his long career.

The Team of Choice are keen to strengthen their ranks ahead of the new season.

Former Pirates and Sundowns defender Robyn Johannes and SuperSport United striker Ashley Hartog are close to sealing deals with the club while Derrick Spencer, who also has ties to Pietermaritzburg, is currently on trial.

The club have also secured the signatures of AmaTuks’s Thokozani Sekotlong and Ajax Cape Town’s Nhlanhla Vilakazi.

United’s first game of the new PSL season will be against top flight new boys Polo­kwane City at Harry Gwala Stadium.

• lunga.biyela

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