The 59-year-old, who has a huge amount of experience working in the PSL, was officially appointed as United’s head coach last Friday, and wasted no time putting his new charges through his first training session at the club - on the very same day.
Speaking to the Maritzburg United media team in his first official interview, the former Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Black Aces, Golden Arrows and Ajax Cape Town mentor says he’s pleased with the environment he will be working in, and made special mention of the Team of Choice’s ‘12th man’ – their wonderful supporter base.
“The possibilities are here for any coach to work in a professional environment,” Ertugral said.
“There is a fantastic support base here. I hope that they stay behind the team, because this region needs to have a club in the PSL. There is so much talent here and hopefully we can get the team to be successful and the fans will continue to come in their numbers.”
Renowned for developing young players and bringing them into the first team, Ertugral has always had a ‘if they’re good enough, they’re old enough’ approach, and is looking forward to working at a club which also places a high importance on youth development.
“I’ll certainly be looking at the MDC (Reserve) team as well. We first need to sort out the [first] team, and then we’ll definitely work very closely with the MDC side.
“The youth is always important to me, I don’t know how many players I have unleashed in South Africa, many of them have become internationals and Bafana Bafana players, hopefully I can do that with some of the Maritzburg players too.”
On the technical side, finding a solution to Maritzburg’s lack of cutting edge in front of goal is the Turkey-born coach’s biggest immediate priority:
“This is the team which has been conceding the least goals in the country, so the defensive organization is there… We need a striker, because that’s where the weak part is.
“When we win the ball back what are we going to do? How are we going to get to the next line, how will we enter the last third? These are elements that we need to work on,” he explained.
Ertugral’s first test with his new team will come on Sunday January 6, against former club Golden Arrows at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.