United waive free stadium to play Chiefs at Harry Gwala

2010-09-03 00:00

NEXT Wednesday’s encounter between Maritzburg United and Kaizer Chiefs is sure to conjure up yesteryear memories for the Amakhosi duo of defender Jimmy Tau and goalkeeper Arthur Bartman.

For Chiefs captain Tau and Bartman, the visit to the Harry Gwala Stadium holds significance, not only in search of three points at the expense of United, but also because it will be a homecoming of sorts for the pair.

Ten years ago, both Tau and Woodlands-born Bartman — then playing for First Division side Maritzburg City — saw their promising careers change for the better.

This was after City’s impressive 1-0 BobSave Superbowl win over fancied Ajax Cape Town at Harry Gwala nine seasons ago.

Both players went on to turn out for several clubs with distinction in the past decade, with Tau being the most successful.

The right-back has collected several cups with both Orlando Pirates and Chiefs, and earned eight international caps for Bafana Bafana.

Veteran Bartman (32) last season enjoyed a rejuvenation in his career in style by putting on impressive showings deputising for Amakhosi’s injured number one ’keeper Itumeleng Khune.

It should be emotional albeit sad return to Pietermaritzburg, given the recent death of Reggie Shelembe, who had been their coach at City 10 years ago.

Should they make the Chiefs’ starting line-up, Tau and Bartman would be out to bid homage to their mentor in grand fashion.

For Tau, Chiefs’ visit on Wednesday will be his second in Pietermaritzburg, having been a member of the team that comprehensively booted an already-relegated United 3-1 four seasons ago, adding his name on the scoresheet alongside Ivorian Serge Djiehoua’s.

Meanwhile, United wingers Rudolf Bester, Felix Obada and midfielder Kurt Leintjies, who sustained injuries during the local side’s 3-2 defeat last weekend by Amazulu, started light training yesterday.

United have invited former Chiefs defender Fabian McCarthy for trials as they seek to strengthen central defence.

The experienced McCarthy is a free agent after being released by Moroka Swallows, where he had a fallout with the team’s management last season over various issues.

United chairman Farouk Kadodia stressed that the club has taken a decision to hold the game at Harry Gwala, rather than Moses Mabhida Stadium, which might not benefit the club fininacially, but is in the interests of its supporters.

Kadodia said Moses Mabhida had offered an incentive that would have made the use of the Durban stadium gratis for United.

“To take a decision like this is not easy for a club without a sponsor, but we knew that, being a midweek game, not many of our fans could have travelled to Durban,” Kadodia said.

• Tickets (R50 grand stand, R40 open stand, R20 juniors) are on sale at Computicket and the club offices in Victoria Road.

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