Chairman Farook Kadodia reflects back on what has largely been a succesful s2013/ 2014 season for the Team of Choice.

I must begin by saying that I am happy with the team. We lost out on the top eight spot in the 2012/13 season by two points. For the new season we needed to strengthen certain areas as we had lost Mthokozisi Yende as well as Cuthberth Malaijila . We had to bring players in, so we got Yakubu Mohamed, Nlanhla Vilakazi, Ashley Hartog,Thokozani Sekotlong, Robbyn Johannes and Thami Mkhize.

We built a strong team so that we could be in contention for cups and a top eight spot. It was very important to support the coach, and the fans were excited with the signings. We played attractive football.

The problem started when we had a huge injury list, when we had about 10 players unavailable at a time. The coach was then limited in his options.

Unfortunately certain circumstances unfolded and coach Middendorp left us. Ironically, the Celtic coach Clinton Larsen resigned almost at the same time and he was available for signing, and we did. When he came, many players were on treatment so he did not have a full compliment of the squad. We began losing points, and we were uncertain of control in the dressing room.

As a club we had to look at his situation. The situation was not good for the club that had invested so much. Our return on investment was declining quickly, so the board decided to release the coach.

We were lucky that the man we had always wanted, was available to sign with us. Steve Kompela had a few weeks stint with us in 2006 and was called on to the National Team. We were happy to have him back with us. He fulfilled his task very well. He is a very good manager and the players supported him as well.

We started playing a good brand of football again. He came in at 13 points and we finished at 38. We went up to the semi final stage of the Nedbank Cup. That’s a good achievement. The results speak for themselves.

Rumours about his departure have begun to surface, so we engaged the coach and then his agent communicated with us on the matter. Steve still has to give a letter of resignation, which means as it stands, he is still contracted to Maritzburg United.

As a club, we are not in the premiership to fight relegation. Without a sponsor, it has been very difficult. Teams with sponsors, have an unfair advantage over the teams without. We need sponsors to come on board. We have two teams left now in KZN after loosing Arrows, support is needed. I also need to clear the air about rumours of relocation, i have not made any commitment to that effect. In the past we had offers and we declined because it is not our intention to relocate. In order for us to continue in KZN, we need support here at home.

We have huge challenges. Without a structured academy, it is problematic. We can’t compare with teams in Gauteng with huge sponsorships. We largely depend on the PSL grants for survival. Silverware and top eight is what we have and will continually aim for.

This past season had some highlights. The Nedbank Cup semi final against Pirates, which we unfortunately lost by an own goal. Also the Sundowns game which was our last game of the season, with the champion’s trophy handed out at Harry Gwala Stadium. Sundowns did not beat us in this past season. We also defeated both Free State Stars and Supersport United for the 1st time in the club’s history. We also only lost once at the Harry Gwala Stadium in 2014.

I would also like to congratulate both Virgil Vries and Heinrich Isaacks on their call ups to the Namibian National Team as well as Bandile Shandu who was called up to the South African u20 National Team.

Farook Kadodia
Maritzburg United FC

22 May 2014