Relaxed Maritzburg ready to take on SuperSport tomorrow

2012-11-19 00:00

A SERIES of impressive performances have seen Maritzburg United enjoy their best ever start to a PSL season, but there was time for a little relaxation on Saturday as the squad assembled at Harry Gwala stadium for a fan day.

Members of the public were given the opportunity to meet and greet their favourite players and the well-attended day has highlighted the positive influence that a winning football team can have on its supporters.

“The fans were given the opportunity to interact with the players and it was a fantastic day for everybody,” United chairperson Farouk Kadodia told The Witness yesterday.

“If we are to achieve a top eight finish in the league this season, then it will be the fans that make it possible.”

Those same fans will be counted on tomorrow night, when SuperSport United visit Harry Gwala for a PSL fixture. The Pretoria-based side was in action just two days ago, when they were knocked out of the Telkom Knockout cup by Mamelodi Sundowns, but this doesn’t mean that things will be any easier for Maritzburg.

SuperSport coach Gavin Hunt was afforded the opportunity to leave out big names such as Kermit Erasmus and Bevan Fransman in Saturday’s clash, and with the depth that SuperSport has, they will be able to field a side more than capable of repeating their Telkom Knockout quarter-final victory (2-0 at Harry Gwala) over Maritzburg three weeks ago.

“I’m sure that some of their big players will be fresh and ready to play, they have a lot of depth,” Kadodia added. “It will be a very big challenge for us, but if we can get maximum points then we will consolidate our good start as we head towards the halfway stage.”

While Maritzburg’s squad may not be anywhere near as big as SuperSport’s, they have been fortunate to avoid major injuries and suspensions so far this season and have kept their core group of key players on the field.

Only right back Peter Petersen (hip) remains an injury concern ahead of tomorrow’s clash and Kadodia hinted that the 31-year-old would miss the clash.

“We can’t pick a player at 60%, he needs to be fully fit,” the Maritzburg boss said.

But with the January transfer window around the corner, Kadodia confirmed that the Maritzburg squad could very well be bolstered with some fresh faces.

“I think we need to bring in two or three players,” he said. “I think we need to look at another central midfielder and then somebody up front to support Cuthbert [Malajila] and Terrance [Mandaza].

“As you get into the second half of the season, things always become trickier. Clubs perform a lot better and there will inevitably be injuries, so we need to be well prepared.”

Maritzburg are currently in fourth position on the PSL log with 19 points from 10 games, while SuperSport are eight points back and in 11th position, having drawn a remarkable eight of their 10 fixtures.

Tomorrow night’s match kicks off at 7.30 pm and will not be televised.

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