The Team of Choice place a high value on their community ties, not only from a supporter perspective, but also in terms of uncovering local talent and providing the platform to hone those skills and ultimately to play for the PSL team.
“With the support we are receiving in these areas, we needed to attract more players into the structures of our team,” said chairman Farook Kadodia.
“We would like to see more players from Pietermaritzburg and the surrounding areas at our club”
The likes of Bandile Shandu, Siphesihle Ndlovu and Bongokuhle Hlongwane are just three current examples of local youngsters who came through the ranks with Maritzburg.
Ndlovu, whose nickname is 'Mbesuma', grew up in Ashdown and attended Siyahlomula High School. He made an instant impact in our MDC team and was swiftly promoted to the 1st team.
Hlongwane (‘Saniza’) grew up in Nxamalal and attended Umthoqotho High School. He broke into the 1st team in his debut MDC season and scored his first senior goal in a key Promotion play-off game.
‘Bandi’ grew up in a small town called Smero and attended Maritzburg College. He was spotted by former coach Ernst Middendorp at the Nashua Maritzburg United schools tournament in 2012.
Said Shandu: "It means a lot to me cause as a young boy playing for Maritzburg development. It was a dream of mine to play in the PSL and what made it more special I got to play for the team I grew up watching as a ball boy every home game. So it’s really special for me."
Now the hunt is on to uncover the next generation of raw diamonds – to potentially be drafted into the MDC team (17-20 years old), and the Team of Choice’s technical team has been hard at work over the past week holding trials in Impendle, Umshwathi, Mooi River, Dundee, Umngeni and Hammarsdale.
Still to come is the Richmond Municipalty region, on June 25 – please stay posted to our social media accounts for more info/ confirmation of dates and times.
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