Team of Choice swop: Out goes Mor Diouf, in comes Mario Booysen

2012-08-07 00:00

THE towering presence of 23-year-old centre back Mor Diouf at the heart of Maritzburg United’s defence is a thing of the past. This was confirmed yesterday with the news that United have agreed on a deal of an undisclosed amount with PSL rivals SuperSport United for the Senegalese defender’s services ahead of the upcoming PSL season.

The transfer also sees the return to Harry Gwala of central defender Mario Booysen from SuperSport as part of a swop deal.

A capable central defender who played 22 times for the Pretoria-based club last season, Booysen [23] spent the 2009/10 season on loan at United and will join his younger brother, David [also 23], in Pietermaritzburg.

But even with Mario Booysen’s signature, United chair Farouk Kadodia knows that he will need another strong centre-back if he is to effectively replace Diouf. United have been rumoured to be close to signing Ghanaian Awan Mohammed in an “expensive” deal, but Kadodia could not confirm yesterday that negotiations had reached finality.

“We can’t hide from the fact that we have lost a quality player in Diouf,” Kadodia told The Witness yesterday.

“He has been absolutely outstanding and he has given us three committed seasons.”

Entering the final year of his United contract, Diouf had expressed his desire to leave Maritzburg in pursuit of a bigger club.

“We needed to go about things the right way and respect the wishes of the player,” Kadodia added.

“We wish him well and we know that SuperSport will get a lot out of him over the next two or three years.”

Signed by Bafana Bafana coach and then United boss Gordon Igesund in 2009, Diouf played every one of United’s PSL matches last season without injury or suspension.

“He was an unknown entity playing at a Senegalese club when Gordon signed him. He has volumes of talent and he soon caught the eye of the coach and management as a special player,” said Kadodia.

Even with Diouf’s departure, United’s defence has an element of promise about it.

The experience of Byrone Hendricks will be welcomed by coach Ernst Middendorp at centre-back while the Booysen brothers will compete for a place alongside Hendricks, and if Mohammed does join the club then Middendorp will feel comfortable in that area.

That leaves Peter Petersen, Rheece Evans, Ruben Cloete, Ryan de Jongh and Thabang Matuka fighting it out for the fullback positions. With Cloete having joined United from Pirates and the other four all showing promise signs last season, Middendorp will have his hands full when it comes to picking his starting defence for this weekend’s PSL opener at the University of Pretoria.

“We have a string of quality defenders now and there will be competition for places, which is a good thing,” added Kadodia.

Sunday’s match kicks off at 3 pm and will be televised on SABC 1.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.