Maritzburg United have appointed of John Maduka as their new head coach, the club confirmed on Wednesday.
The Team of Choice dispensed with Ernst Middendorp for the fourth time after he steered the club to a 12th-placed DStv Premiership finish in the recently completed season.
Maduka excelled in the 2021/22 campaign as he led a newly-formed Royal AM to a third-place finish in the DStv Premiership.
However, his departure from the Shaun Mkhize-owned club is a surprise as many believe Maduka would continue and remain in the Royal Am dugout.
But for reasons unknown, he swapped Durban for Pietermaritzburg and has signed a three-year contract, with Ditheko Mototo named as his assistant.
A Maritzburg statement read: "John Maduka has been officially appointed as the Head Coach of the Team Of Choice.
"The former Bloemfontein Celtic and Royal AM Head Coach has signed a 3-year contract, until June 2025, with the Team of Choice and will officially start at the Club for the Pre-Season ahead of the start of the 2022/2023 DSTV Premiership Season."
Maduka added: "I would like to thank the club's owners for this opportunity for the incredible welcome they have already given me. I am very excited to begin our journey together.
"This is a wonderful opportunity, but there is also a lot of work ahead of us and I am eager to get onto the training ground to start working with the players.
"Upon each visit to the Harry Gwala Stadium one can feel the passion that the "Blue Army" have for this club and this support will be hugely important for the team in the upcoming season.
"I feel my ambition, together with my work ethics, can work to achieve the desired results for the club."