United sign two promising youngsters

2011-07-23 00:00

THERE was more encouraging news for Maritzburg United fans yesterday as the club revealed that they had secured the services of youngsters Thabang Matuka and Vusumuzi Mboyazi — both of whom are 21-years-old — on two-year contracts ahead of the upcoming PSL season.

Matuka is a current member of Shakes Mashaba’s South African U23 squad and moves to Maritzburg from National First Division (NFD) club United FC.

A left back, Matuka feels that his move to the Team of Choice is one that he needed to take his career forward.

Matuka said, “I am delighted to be here and I have gelled well with everybody at the club.”

“This is a team where the youngsters can play without a lot of pressure on them, so I think I am going to enjoy myself.”

Matuka added that he believes that United have a good chance of making it into the top half of the PSL table this season.

Mboyazi has been playing his football in the Vodacom league with Bright Stars FC and joins United as another potential replacement for defensive midfielder John Arwuah, who left the Team of Choice for SuperSport United at the end of last season.

Nicknamed “Sissoko” after Malian superstar Mohamed Sissoko, Mboyazi believes that he has what it takes to become a regular starter and replacement for Arwuah in coach Ian Palmer’s set-up.

Mboyazi said, “This is a big move for me and I believe that I can replace him [Arwuah].

“I work hard at training, the coach has been good to me and I do not want to disappoint him.”

Mboyazi shares Matuka’s views and believes that the side has the potential to finish in the top half of the table.

“In the past Maritzburg has always been fighting relegation.

“But now the players are working hard and we will push to get into the top eight,” he said.

United boss Palmer said that the two signings were very encouraging for his side.

“Thabang [Matuka] has a high work rate, is technically gifted and the fact that he has played in the SA U23 side means that the PSL won’t be too much of a step up for him,” the coach said.

“He has been fantastic since arriving and it gives us a lot more depth at left back,” he added.

On Mboyazi, Palmer was equally optimistic.

“He is young and he has the world at his feet. It gives us more options in that defensive midfield role, which is very important to us,” said Palmer.

Former Pirates man Michael Morton, along with youngster Rheece Evans, who spent much of last season on United’s bench, are two other players who are putting their hands up as a possible replacement for Arwuah.

After a training match against NFD side Blackburn Rovers in Pietermaritzburg today, Palmer and his increasingly fresh-looking squad travel to Johannesburg tomorrow where friendlies against Moroka Swallows (Tuesday) and SuperSport united (Thursday) await them.

Palmer hinted that United were still not done in the transfer market. “We are still trying to sort out a couple of positions — a centre back and another striker,” said the man who successfully steered Maritzburg away from relegation last season.

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