‘It’s great to be here’

2017-01-11 11:42
New Maritzburg United coach Roger de Sa.

New Maritzburg United coach Roger de Sa. (Boogs photography/Andrew MC Fadden)

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Maritzburg United’s glass is half full, and there is a lot that the team can still achieve.

That was the rallying cry by new coach Roger de Sa, who was unveiled at Harry Gwala Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

The former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper rode into town yesterday, and impressed the media and everyone gathered at his unveiling, promising there was a lot to come from the team.

“It’s great to be here,” said the ex-Orlando Pirates and Ajax Cape Town coach. “With every job that you get offered, you need to really think seriously about it. I did have a couple of offers on the table, and I looked carefully at what was available.

“My relationship with Farook [Kadodia, club chairperson] goes back 10 years or so, and over the years the respect and friendship that we developed has just grown and grown. It was going to happen. It was just going to be a matter of time.

“Whenever I came to Maritzburg to play, I always felt it was a nice place to come to … it was always comfortable, with good conditions. Those factors helped a lot in my decision,” said the 52-year-old Mozambican-born coach.

In October last year De Sa stepped down as head coach of Ajax. A month later, he was linked with previous Maritzburg United coach Ernst Middendorp’s job and, when the German resigned, the speculation that the former Mamelodi Sundowns star was coming to the Midlands reached fever pitch, although it was believed Bafana Bafana stood in the way of United getting their man.

But, dismissing those rumours, United’s new coach said there was never any truth to that, and that the reason it took so long for him to give a definite answer was that he was enjoying his holiday, his first in a number of years.

De Sa’s contract with United is initially until the end of the season, with an option to sign an extension for a further two years, although he was planning on staying with the club “for a very long time”.

“I’m planning on buying a farm up here,” he joked.

Kadodia was confident that he had secured the services of the right man to lead the club into the future.

“It’s been a very difficult season for us, especially coming out of a very tough [one previously] where we had the greatest of escapes,” said Kadodia.

“We still believe that a lot has to be reflected in the brand and the support in Pietermaritzburg. And it was important for us that we made this appointment,” he said, before praising Fadlu and Mahier Davids and the technical team for holding fort following Middendorp’s resignation.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  maritzburg united

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