United ready for Mayoral Cup

2015-07-23 06:02
New Maritzburg United coach Mandla Ncikazi says preparations for the upcoming season have been very good for the team. 

                                                          PHOTO: jonathan burton

New Maritzburg United coach Mandla Ncikazi says preparations for the upcoming season have been very good for the team. PHOTO: jonathan burton

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MARITZBURG United are cocked, locked and ready to rock ahead of a crucial campaign where they will attempt to equal or better their achievements from last season.

The club have just returned from a two-week camp in the Midlands, and now, coach Mandla Ncikazi must prepare his team for the uThukela Mayoral Cup in Ladysmith on Sunday.

“The camp, as part of our plan, went very well,” new boss Ncikazi told The Witness on Monday.

“It was very useful. We got to focus on our objectives for the season and work on our technical plan with the players,” said the coach.

Ncikazi did, however, acknowledge that they were still looking to make more signings. So far, the club have only secured the signature of former Orlando Pirates midfielder Manti Moholo, who spent last season on loan at Chippa United.

“Well, we lost nine players at the end of last season, and it will be very foolish to think that we do not have to replace them. An area that we are looking at is defence as we lost a number of defensive players.”

The coach added that due to the fact that they did not score a lot of goals last season, they were also looking to strengthen their attack going into the new campaign.

Asked if he thought the Mayoral Cup was adequate preparation for their first game of the season, a MTN8 clash against league champions Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium, Ncikazi felt that it was. He also added that they had already played training games against Chippa United and Golden Arrows already this season.

And what about the Mayoral Cup itself, will the coach be on the lookout for some unspotted talent?

“As a coach, that is my job,” he said. “If we find a player that is impressive and we like him, we will make the recommendation and we will try to bring him on board.”

With the Premier Soccer League releasing the list of fixtures for the upcoming season, Ncikazi was cautious on how he viewed the club’s first five games, three of which will be at played at Harry Gwala Stadium.

“There are no easy games in the PSL. The standard has been getting very high in recent years and every game is unpredictable and tough.

“Our job is to make sure that we plan very well for each game without looking at them and saying ‘this is an easy game, and this is not an easy game’.”

United open their PSL season with a home fixture against newly promoted Jomo Cosmos, followed by trips to Cape Town to take on Ajax Cape Town, and Johannesburg to face Bidvest Wits


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