Team of Choice rope in Downs duo

2014-07-02 00:00

THE race to sign players ahead of the 2014/15 PSL season continues for Maritzburg United and coach Steve Komphela.

There was good news yesterday when chairperson Farouk Kadodia confirmed that negotiations with Mamelodi Sundowns defenders Abel Mabaso and Kwanda Mngonyama were complete, and the pair were ­expected to join the Team of Choice ­today on loan deals that would keep them at Harry Gwala for the coming season.

Mabaso is a particularly exciting acquisition after having had a stellar season on loan at Clive Barker’s Mpumalanga Black Aces last term. Mngonyama also spent last season on loan, at Wits, where he won player of the tournament in the Nedbank Cup.

The arrivals of the two new faces would slightly ease the defensive worries at Maritzburg after Rheece Evans and Mario Booysen joined Sundowns on permanent deals last month. Evans and Booysen were immense for Maritzburg last season, and their ­departures follow that of regular left back Ruben Cloete to Bloemfontein Celtic.

With Orlando Smeekes (Curacao) and Mohammed Yakubu (Ghana) released and Frank Sarfo-Gyamfi (Ghana) set to go out on loan, Maritzburg also have three foreign slots to fill before the new season gets under way.

“We currently have one foreigner training with us and we have a few more coming this weekend,” Maritzburg chairperson Farouk Kadodia told The Witness yesterday.

“Steve [Komphela] is looking at them and he will get the right players before the season starts.”

There have also been reports doing the rounds that Maritzburg were in the market to bring former winger Rudolf Bester back to the club, but Kadodia yesterday dismissed the ­rumours, saying that he had not been in contact with the Namibian.

With Smeekes and Yakubu out of the picture, Zimbabwean Terrance Mandaza would appear to currently be Komphela’s first, and only, option as an out-and-out striker.

Thokozani Sekotlong was amongst the goals for the Team of Choice last season and can be used as a lone striker, but he is best used in an advanced midfield role with somebody ahead of him.

Maritzburg are in talks with Sundowns striker Rodney Ramagalela, but Kadodia said yesterday that he wasn’t sure whether or not the PSL champions were still prepared to let their man go.

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