Hartog seals United deal

2013-07-10 00:00

MARITZBURG United’s strengthening ahead of the new Premier Soccer League season yesterday saw the club seal the signature of midfielder Ashley Hartog on a two-year deal from SuperSport United.

This comes hot on the heels of the club already securing the services of Thokozani Sekotlong from Pretoria University and Nhlanhla Vilakazi from Ajax Cape Town.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Cape­tonian Hartog said he was looking forward to playing for the Team of Choice and hoped to do enough to extend his stay in Pietermaritzburg beyond his two-year-contract.

“I didn’t know much about the club, but coming here gives me a chance to play under a new coach. I’m looking forward to playing under coach [Ernst] Middendorp. With everything so far, he looks like a really good coach,” Hartog said.

He said his first aim was to train and secure a place in the first 11.

“From there, I’d like to help the club get into the top eight, and win any of the cups available.”

Hartog was also happy with how things had gone so far after having met all of the club’s players, who he said made him feel at home immediately.

Analysing last season, he said: “They didn’t do badly. But due to not having a big squad, the players got a bit tired and they started to slow down a bit in the last few games after they started the season really well.

“From the squad we have this season, we can only improve,” he said.

The club are also very close to completing a deal for former Orlando Pirates defender Robyn Johannes, who underwent a medical with the club yesterday.

Team of Choice commercial manager Younus Kadodia said yesterday that Hartog’s signing increased the attack available to Middendorp.

“Ashley will add great experience to the team and we expect him to contribute significantly during his time at the club,” he said on the club’s website.

“He is a model professional who is hungry to succeed at this stage of his career and we all believe Maritzburg can be the perfect platform for him to do that.”

The club also recently sealed the signature of former Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Arthur Bartman, who replaces Ronnie Kanalelo as goalkeeper coach.

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