Key players out for United

2018-03-28 10:49
Brian Onyango is the latest Maritzburg United defender to be sidelined.

Brian Onyango is the latest Maritzburg United defender to be sidelined. (Gallo Images)

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Maritzburg United face a major hurdle for their Nedbank Cup quarter-final this weekend because of an injury and suspension crisis that sees three key players ruled out of action.

The Team of Choice take on Bloemfontein Celtic at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday, but one of the Absa Premiership’s tightest defences, which has conceded just 15 goals in 24 games, will be without the suspended duo of Bevan Fransman and Pogiso Sanoka, while Brian Onyango is now sidelined by an injury.

This means that at centre-back coach Fadlu Davids has to rely on the experience of Siyanda Xulu, who has regained his form since joining the club, while Rushine de Reuck and Bokang Thlone are practically his only choices at right and left back.

Another option at centre-back is Motsie Matima, who has only played 50 minutes this season.

After Onyango was carried off on a stretcher with a knee injury during their 2-1 victory over Polokwane City in their most recent outing, coach Davids said Onyango is their biggest concern ahead of a busy schedule.

He has a meniscus tear and may miss the rest of the season, according to the club. The Kenyan central defender has had an operation on his injured knee and will have a scan next week to determine his status. A decision will be made once the results are known, but he is definitely out for Saturday’s clash.

Davids said: “Of course we don’t have Bevan and Pogiso for Saturday’s game, but they will be back for the Wits game after that. Brian has just had his operation on his meniscus.

“So, those are definite players that are out for this weekend.”

However, Davids tried to be brave about the bad manpower situation at the back. “I’m not worried, at all. I trust Rushine and we still have Siyanda. That’s the only two defenders I have at the moment. There’s also Bokang, who’s been doing well in terms of recovering from his injury and managing his game minutes. But he’s still not able to play 90 minutes.

“There’s Motsie who’s played a couple of PSL games and we might decide to throw him into the deep end. But we will see. We are still doing preparations and we will make sure we find the best team that will be able to represent us and get us into the next round.”

The Midlands side are the only Kwa­Zulu-Natal team still playing in the Cup competition.

Meanwhile, the local club visited Alexandra High School to give motivational talks and a coaching clinic to pupils on Tuesday.

The party included coach Davids, Fransman, Xulu, Siphesihle Ndlovu, Bandile Shandu and Lindokuhle Sithole.

They were also filmed for the Love PSL show, which will be aired on Thursday, April 12 at 6.30 pm on SuperSport 4.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  maritzburg united

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