United signings unveiled

2012-07-04 00:00

THE make-over continued yesterday for Maritzburg United as two new attacking signings were unveiled by the club.

As expected, 27-year-old striker Terrence Mandaza joins from Platinum Stars on a two-year deal, and the Zimbabwean will be looking to emulate his form of 2009/10, when he netted no fewer than 42 goals in 33 matches for Botswana outfit Township Rollers.

United coach Ernst Middendorp had expressed an interest in Mandaza then, but a more financially stable Platinum Stars won the player’s signature. But last season was a frustrating one for Mandaza at Stars.

“It was difficult not getting much game time,” Mandaza told The Witness yesterday.

“The coach [Middendorp] wanted me before I went to Platinum and I see now that this is the club I should have been at all along.”

The prospect of Mandaza linking up with his countryman, Cuthbert Malajila, as United’s strike force also bodes well for Middendorp, as Mandaza feels he understands Malajila’s game.

“I have watched him play many times and I know what he likes and what he doesn’t like,” said Mandaza.

United’s other signing is 18-year-old Frank Sarfo-Gyamfi, a Ghanaian winger who Middendorp used to coach in Ghana and has had his eye on for a while.

Sarfo-Gyamfi was given a trial at Golden Arrows last season when Middendorp was coach of the Durban club, but the player was too young to be signed as a foreign player.

“We have scouted Frank for a few months now. He is an exceptional talent and has been coached well at WA All Stars [Ghana],” the coach said.

“I’m delighted he has chosen to come to Maritzburg and I believe he has a lot to offer and we are all looking forward to working with him.”

Sarfo-Gyamfi arrived in the city last week and said his team-mates had welcomed him into the set-up.

“They are good players and I like the team a lot,” he told The Witness.

“I want to get into the first side. The PSL gives you a platform to get into Europe that you don’t have in Ghana.”

A member of the recent Ghana U20 side that did battle at the recent Cape Town international youth tournament, Sarfo-Gyamfi describes himself as a quick player with a lot of attacking flair.

“I am a midfielder who can score goals — that is my strong point. I am fast and I will give the leftback who plays against me a difficult time.”

For Mandaza, scoring goals is what matters most.

“If I can play more regular football and score goals for the team, then hopefully more international call-ups will follow,” said the man who has represented his country on four occasions.

With Mandaza’s proven goal scoring record and the hype that has surrounded the young Sarfo-Gyamfi, these latest signings suggest that there is every chance that this United squad will pose more of an attacking threat.

With five pedigreed players already signed by United this off-season, including former Bafana Bafana midfielder Delron Buckley, attention will now shift to Senegalese centre-back Mor Diouf’s future at the club.

If Diouf leaves the city and Team of Choice, then United will be expected to sign at least one player as a replacement.

• sport@witness.co.za

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