German Alder registered in time for United’s game again Ajax

2011-01-19 00:00

MARITZBURG United have been buoyed by concluding the paperwork to sign new German defender Christian Alder yesterday ahead of their Premier Soccer League game against in-form Ajax Cape Town at Harry Gwala Stadium tonight.

Alder (31), who played for Rott Weis Ahlen in the German second division last season and then in the third division for six months this season, has signed for a year.

The signing of Alder, who needed a work permit before being registered, could not have come at better time for United.

Maritzburg have released veteran defender Fabian McCarthy, and with Senegalese Mor Diouf suspended, coach Ernst Middendorp had been left thin at centre-back.

His options were Byron Hendricks, youngster David Booysen and normal central midfielder John Arwuah.

Ghanaian Arwuah, though, has been racing to recover from a knock to his Achilles he sustained in Saturday’s 3-0 away defeat against Mamelodi Sundowns.

Middendorp, too, would no doubt prefer to have 2009 player of the season Arwuah in his normal, crucial anchor role.

United are hoping Alder can bring greater consistency to a troublesome central defence.

The German played under Middendorp in his teens at Bundesliga club Arminia Bielefeld, and again at Cyprus side Anorthosis Famagusta in 2009.

Maritzburg are likely to need as solid a defence as possible tonight. Ajax are coming off a 1-0 home defeat of arguably the form team in the PSL, Kaizer Chiefs, on Friday night in one of the best matches of the season.

The Capetonians have Terror Fanteni back from suspension, though the veteran striker might find himself behind the men in possession, youngsters Thulani Serero and Billiat Khama, in the pecking order.

Ajax’s youthful, technically gifted array of talents, guided by experienced heads such as goalkeeper Hans Vonk and midfielder Brent Carelse, have reveled in the sophisticated football imported by Dutch coach Foppe de Haan.

In a six-match unbeaten run earlier this season, United had begun to step into the challenge in a manner that made them a difficult team to compete against.

They need to rediscover that measured aggression tonight against an Ajax side capable of turning on the style should they be allowed to. Middendorp, too, will want to utilise the strength of his team — attackers such as Rudolf Bester, Kurt Lentjies, Diyo Sibisi and Musa Nyatama — better than they were in a defensive performance against Sundowns.

Middendorp, while disappointed in his side’s overall display against Downs, was not overly concerned by the result.

“To be fair, Maritzburg cannot expect to go to Sundowns and get three points or a point — these results are a bonus.

“Alright, I expected a bit more but I am more worried about a game like Free State Stars where we should have won at home but lost 2-0.”

A win or even a draw tonight against one of the league’s form teams would be a bonus for United too. At home, the PMB side will aim to make far more of a game of it than they did on the weekend.

Tonight: Bloemfontein Celtic v Mamelodi Sundowns (Seisa Ramabodu Stadium, 7.30 pm – live on SuperSport 3), SuperSport United v Free State Stars (Lucas Moripe Stadium, 7.30 pm – live on SuperSport Blitz), Santos v Vasco Da Gama (Athlone Stadium, 7.30 pm), Kaizer Chiefs v AmaZulu (FNB Stadium, 7.30 pm), Lamontville Golden Arrows v Orlando Pirates *Chatsworth Stadium, 7.30 pm – live on SuperSport 4), Platinum Stars v Wits University (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, 7.30 pm), Moroka Swallows v Mpumalanga Black Aces (Dobsonville Stadium, 8 pm), Maritzburg United v Ajax Cape Town (Harry Gwala Stadium, 8 pm)

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