New Captain Maritzburg

2013-07-30 00:00

THERE’S a new Captain Maritzburg in town.

Twenty-four-year-old Maritzburg United midfielder Michael Morton was yesterday named as the club’s new captain ahead of the upcoming PSL season.

The Orlando Pirates youth graduate takes over from goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters, who served as club captain last season, a player Morton said he’d look up to.

“He was a great captain,” Morton told The Witness about his predecessor.

“He’ll still be part of the leadership at the club. I’ll learn from him, and all of the other older guys in the side,” Morton said following the team’s morning training session at Carter High School yesterday.

Morton has always dreamt about leading a Premiership team, but, he said, he never expected the opportunity to come at the tender age of 24.

“You don’t really plan for it. You never expect to a captain at just 24, especially as there are a lot of other players with experience … It’s not something I expected to come so soon.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity and honoured to captain a club like this,” he said.

“Of course, it’s not something I expected to come so soon in my career, but I have dreamt about captaining a PSL side. There are a lot of guys they could have given it to. It’s an honour.”

The goal now for the Team of Choice is to finish in the top eight, having missed out last season by a mere point after hovering around the top six for the most part.

“The main thing for us is to improve. With the addition of a few good players, the top eight finish is on the cards for us this season. Last season it was so congested, we were [one point] out and we finished in 11th. We don’t want to have the same situation of fading away.”

He was also confident that the club’s new signing, Ghanaian Yakubu Mohammad, had “all the qualities” to fill the boots of departed top scorer Cuthbert Malajila.

“He looks a good signing. I’ve seen him in a few friendlies and he also looks good in training,” he said.

For the coming season, all of United’s home games will be played at Harry Gwala stadium, unlike last season when the team used Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay stadium as their base for three games, against Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and Moroka Swallows.

“Harry Gwala was like a fortress for us last season. I think we lost two games. Now the supporters will know that the three big sides in the league will come and play in Maritzburg.

“Hopefully they’ll come in their numbers. They always have,” he said.

United start their league campaign at home on Saturday against newly promoted Polokwane City.

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