United give talented bad boy of soccer a lifeline

2008-08-05 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — New Premier Soccer League outfit Maritzburg United have given the “bad boy” of local soccer, Junior Khanye, a lifeline when they signed the talented but troublesome midfielder on for a two-year contract.

But United chairman Farouk Kadodia warned the wayward former Kaizer Chiefs starlet: “If Khanye messes up with us he will be finished, washed up. Our coach Gordon Igesund decided to give him another chance after the player trained with us for a full two weeks and Gordon believes he still has a lot to offer.”

Khanye was taken in hand recently by former Orlando Pirates coach Mike Makaab, who is now a Fifa players’ agent.

“Makaab has worked on Khanye for the past four months when he lived in Durban and he has assured us Khanye has turned over a new leaf and can still deliver the goods in the PSL,” said Kadodia.

Khanye, at 23, almost destroyed his budding career after his off -the- field exploits at Chiefs threatened to ruin a promising career. The Daveyton-born Khanye was a star in the making when he broke into the first team at Chiefs from junior ranks at Amakhosi. He looked set to follow in the footsteps of his friend, Jab Pule, at Chiefs.

Things started well when Khanye was selected to play for the South African U20 side, and prospects of him fulfilling his promise of reaching the senior Bafana Bafana ranks looked good.

Unfortunately he copied Pule with his off-the-field antics and his career was derailed two years ago.

But now he has a last chance under disciplinarian Igesund to deliver on his promise of reviving his career.

Kadodia and Igesund have been busy beefing up United for their big challenge of keeping their heads above water in the PSL after winning the National First Division championship.

United have signed two players from Bloemfontein Celtic, veteran defender Gary Goldstone and former Bafana striker Lebohang Kukame.

United have also signed Thanda Royal Zulu’s right back Tshepo Mashishi, who has also played for Benoni I Premier United and Maritzburg City, and at 29 has the sort of experience that Igesund will need in the coming season.

“We have retained the likes of striker Fadlu Davis, Collen Zimba, Peter Petersen and Lunch Pule, who helped us gain promotion,” added Kadodia. “Gordon is a strong believer in hard work and I am confident we will hold our own in the PSL.” The United boss added that they had strikers and midfielders from Nigeria and the DR Congo on trial.

“We need backup in attack and in midfield.”

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