The latest two players to graduate from the Team of Choice’s development ranks are Ujaun Mcdonald and Lindokuhle Sithole, who were promoted to the first team this month, following the likes of Siphelele Ndlovu and Bandile Shandu amongst several others over the last few years.
Both players are 18-years-old, Mcdonald an attacking midfielder, while Sithole is ‘a number 8 or number 6’, a more defensive-minded midfielder who does also push up in attack.
“The two boys are certainly talented, and disciplined,” said coach Siya.
“They have showed their willingness to work hard to take the next step forward. I think they will do well, now it’s about how long they will take to adapt to the first team.
“But the kind of coaching they will get in the first team is amazing and I’m sure their speed in becoming professional will happen soon,” he added.
A streamlined system at the club is making the transition of youngsters as effective as possible, the coach explains:
“Because of the way we train, everything is on the table and made clear. So for young players with such talent, I’m sure they will adjust quickly and will go far in their careers with the discipline and quality they have.
“I’m grateful that the coach in our Castle (league) side did an excellent job with Lindokuhle and Ujaun. Then they came to the MDC team and did well. So it’s a matter for them now to really make use of their chance with the first team.
“It’s also good for us as coaches working with these young boys to see the first team coaches appreciating our work,” coach Mdluli continued.
“I’m more than happy. If you check now how many players in our first team are coming from our Diski team and our development U19 Castle team, we have got a lot. You name them, Shandu, Ndlovu, Maboe, Makaringe, they’ve been there.
“That says without hesitation that the work being done in development, with the help of coaches Fadlu and Mahier, is very good. We all work together and we are learning from them. It’s all for the benefit of Maritzburg United which is doing well in terms of developing players. I think we are one of the best at getting players from development to the first team.”
Moving to the MDC team, Mdluli’s charges recorded a 3-1 away win over Cape Town City last weekend to move to move just four points behind the Golden Arrows reserve team.
“In football you can never give up,” he said. “Before our last game we were four points behind Arrows, then they lost and we won.
“We are still in it, if we can go to Cape Town (Ajax Cape Town on Saturday morning) this weekend and get positive results, which I know won’t be easy, then it can give us a chance to challenge for the title. Still four games to go, anything is possible. We just have to grind hard to get results in every game and there’s a chance."
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