COMPETITION HAS KEPT PLAYERS ON THEIR TOES, SAYS OFORI
15 April 2020
Unity within the team, competition for places and support from the community have been some of the key factors to Maritzburg United's successful campaign.
Before the coronavirus lockdown brought a premature halt to the season, United had been in fifth place, only five points behind second placed Mamelodi Sundowns, and nine points behind Absa Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs.
The Team of Choice also reached the Telkom Knockout final, but lost 2-1 to Sundowns.
The picture had not however looked so rosy in the opening few months of the 2019/ 20 campaign after Maritzburg had claimed only two points from their first five matches.
As Ofori explains, it was the sprit in the Team of Choice camp which carried them through.
"The togetherness has been very important," the Ghana number one said. "We suffered a lot last season, so this season the togetherness, the team work and the hard work has paid off for the team.
"We didn't start very well. But when the coach spoke to us, we listened to what he had to say and we tried to do everything possible."
The Maritzburg management and technical team made some very good signings ahead of the new season and this has also helped - as players have settled in, the fight for a spot in the starting XI has only increased.
“For each and every one there is good competition for places,” Ofori elaborated. “So that makes us work hard to make the most of the chance the coach gives you.
“Because if you don't work hard, another player will be given the opportunity and he will deliver. So you need to push, the competition has really helped a lot.”
Another factor behind Maritzburg’s good form is no secret. It’s the Blue Army.
“The fans and the city as a whole have been great for the team,” Ofori said. “Many other clubs don't have what Maritzburg have in terms of fan base.
“It's very effective, you know how on Friday nights we need the support and they all come in their numbers.
“We know how much it means to them and without football it's very difficult and complicated.
“It’s (the lockdown) affecting all of us, so we have to fight this together,” big Richard continued. “We need to stay to together as a team, stay home and be safe, so that we can be healthy when things come to normal.
“At the end of the day, individuals can't fight it, we need to fight this together.”
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