United sign Zim striker Rusike as frontman

2015-07-30 06:00
PHOTO: sourced 

Evans Rusike.

PHOTO: sourced Evans Rusike.

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AFTER weeks of speculation, Maritzburg United have sealed the signature of Zimbabwean striker Evans Rusike on a two-year deal.

Since seeing the prolific Cuthbert Malajila leave the club for Mamelodi Sundowns two years ago, the Team of Choice have signed a number of strikers with the hope he could be replaced.

Ghanaian frontman Mohammed Anas, who scored seven goals last season, is the closest United have come to finding a replacement for Malajila. But, with the club scoring so few goals last season - one less than relegated AmaZulu - the striking department was one area coach Mandla Ncikazi felt needed strengthening.

The departure of Zimbabwean Terrence Mandaza meant the club was understaffed up front, and the signing of Rusike is a move to fill in the gaps, and to strengthen as they look to match last season’s achievement of finishing in the top eight.

Rusike, no relation to compatriot and former Kaizer Chiefs striker Matthew Rusike, played games for Zimbabwe last term, and found the back of the net eight times for his former club Hwange FC.

With Khumbulani Banda at the club, the 23-year-old Rusike should find it easy to settle in his new environment.

“Banda and I know each other well and we have played against each other. It’s great that we are now team-mates,” Rusike was quoted on the club’s website.

The task at hand is a tough one for the club however, Rusike promised to become the reason for the joy of Maritzburgers.

“I am here to do a job. I’m going to make the fans happy,” he added.

United’s preparations for a date with league champions Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8 on August 4 have been going ahead at full steam, with the club going down 2-1 to Orlando Pirates in a practice game last week.

Ncikazi was however, confident they would be ready for Steve Komphela’s Chiefs, promising to cause some upsets.

“We should be ready for Kaizer Chiefs. We will be the surprise package. Komphela knows what to expect from me and I also know what to expect from him.

“This is the right time to play Chiefs because Komphela hasn’t settled,” Ncikazi said after the MTN8 draw last week which will see the Team of Choice travel to Johannesburg for the tie

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