United’s key players fit and legal to face Chiefs

2010-09-01 00:00

MARITZBURG United have been lifted ahead of their game against Kaizer Chiefs at Harry Gwala Stadium next Wednesday night by the news that injuries sustained by key players at the weekend will all have cleared by their first home match of the season.

United began their season with a last-gasp 3-2 defeat against AmaZulu at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday, and three key attacking players — wingers Felix Obada and Kurt Lentjies, and striker Rudolf Bester — went off due to injuries. But all three are set to be cleared to play against Chiefs next Wednesday.

A further boost for coach Ernst Middendorp was that the club were set to sign defender Bevan Fransch from Santos on a two-year deal ahead of last night’s close of the PSL transfer deadline, United CEO Afzal Khan revealed.

United had been in efforts to sign Derrick Spencer from Mamelodi Sundowns for weeks, but the central defender was last night snapped up by Platinum Stars.

Before United’s opener against AmaZulu the PMB team had Bester pulling a harmstring muscle at training and Ghananian defender John Arwuah’s work permit not concluded on time. This left Middendorp having to work with the little he had at his disposal, throwing young defender David Booysen in at the deep end and being forced to substitute Bester before he could aggravate his injury.

Booysen (20), signed from Ajax Cape Town, is the brother of last season’s on-loan defender, Mario, who has been recalled by Ajax.

Obada (torn ankle ligaments) and midfielder Lentjies (dislocated shoulder) also had to be taken off against Usuthu.

However Khan yesterday told The Witness the four players (including Arwuah) will be available for the Chiefs clash.

“Bester could not honour a Namibian call-up because of the injury and is getting treatment as we need him for Chiefs clash,” Khan said.

“ Arwuah will have his papers sorted out in time now and Kurt and Felix are having the physio attending to them. We are confident to be at full strength on Wednesday.”

Defender Byron Hendricks, who fractured his hand in the build-up to the season, is on the road to recovery too.

Khan said United missed out on signing Spencer “because what Mamelodi Sundowns were looking for [financially] was out of our reach”.

Bester expressed confidence in the team going out for a win against Chiefs. The bustling Namibian forward showed character when he took to the field against AmaZulu despite carrying an injury, scoring United’s first goal.

“I had to sacrifice for the team because we had problems with the availability of players. Though we lost the game, we left the stadium with our heads high because we were happy with how we applied ourselves, except for sleeping at the death. We have learnt the lesson and will rectify the mistake against Chiefs,” Bester said.

United conceded an injury-time winner to AmaZulu striker Ayanda Dlamini.

United have urged fans to purchase tickets, which are already on sale, early as the stadium capacity is limited to 12 000.

Tickets at R50 for the grand stand, R40 for the open stand and R20 for juniors.

Tickets are available at the Maritzburg United offices at 397 Victoria Road, Supersave, Shoprite Checkers and Computicket, Bhamjees Sports in Boshoff Street, OK Mini Market in College Road and Poobie Naidoo Sports.

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