‘Team of Choice’ trim their squad

2019-02-27 06:01
Striker Andrea Fileccia is one of four players trimmed by United as they focus on fighting relegation. PHOTO: gallo Ima ges

Striker Andrea Fileccia is one of four players trimmed by United as they focus on fighting relegation. PHOTO: gallo Ima ges

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MARITZBURG United have started looking at squad issues for next season and striker Andrea Fileccia is one of four players falling out of the picture.

The “Team of Choice” have also decided against signing trial player Thamsanqa Sangweni and other squad members on the way out with Fileccia are attacker Keletso Makgalwa and midfielder Yazid Atouba. Bokang Tlhone already left the side a fortnight ago.

Fileccia, now out of the training group, has been battling for game time this season and was going to see his two-year stay at the Midlands club come to an end when his current contract expired at the end of June, anyway.

Another player who has been sidelined is Cameroonian attacker Atouba who leaves the club after a less-than-impressive personal campaign in the country’s top flight.

Sangweni, who will turn 30 this year, has been training with the team for the past week hoping to impress coach Eric Tinkler and secure a deal. But news came yesterday that he was not going to succeed in his mission.

Makgalwa is a young player with a lot of potential, but the 22-year-old is returning to his parent club Mamelodi Sundowns after being on loan to United since the beginning of the campaign.

The departure of these players means that the technical team are now busy with a very focused team until the end of the season.

When contacted for comment yesterday, club chairperson Farook Kadodia was reluctant to talk about issues involving their playing personnel because of the club’s current relegation battle. But The Witness understands that the four men in question have already stopped training with the club.

Said Kadodia: “We do plan to release four players to make sure that the coach focuses on the players he needs but the club will make an official statement soon.

“But that’s not our focus of attention at the moment. Our situation is that we need to get all the players as hungry as possible to fight our way out of the danger zone.”

Asked how they planned on doing that, Kadodia said winning their home games was key to their survival, and he stressed the need for their loyal fans to rally behind them. “Basically we have to ensure that the players are motivated and are focused in one direction, which is to get out of the relegation zone.

All I can say is that we need to win our home games, but we cannot do it without our loyal faithfuls. They have kept us alive before and they did it again in our last home game. So for now that’s what the team needs,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Cape Town City have confirmed that midfield duo Roland Putsche and Thabo Nodada have been ruled out for the remainder of the season through injury.

The Austrian suffered a meniscus tear to his right knee while the Bafana Bafana international has suffered a leg fracture that will see them both miss the remainder of the 2018/2019 Absa Premiership campaign.

Both injuries occurred during the Citizens’ 3-0 win over Highlands Park in the Nedbank Cup on Friday.


Mamelodi Sundowns 1 - 1 Polokwane City


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