22 December 2008


The Maritzburg United Development Wing trials attracted large numbers. The trials which came to an end on the 18 December 2008 attracted players from all over the Umgungundlovu Region.

The trials covered all four age groups from the U13’s through to the U19’s and commenced on the 11 December 2008.

Head of Development, Katz Naidoo was pleased with the turn out and believes the region is oozing with talent.

" Despite the hot weather experienced over the trial period the trialists tried very hard to excel in these trying conditions," said Katz.

" It is a pity that United can only register a certain number of players, I wish we could have more teams because the talent on display was enormous. Currently the Development Programme is under written by the Board of Directors as the Club to-date has no title sponsor. Having a title sponsor will enable the Club to increase the number of teams in the various age groups."

"In the U13 squad we had to assemble a new squad as the previous team had graduated to the consolidating stage. Further we looked to select players that were 10 or 11 year olds, so they could spend two years in the introductory stage which is the Club’s Development Policy. Twenty players in this age group were identified and will start their programme on the on the 26 January 2009.

"There were 72, U15 participants that attended of which 8 were identified. The U15 squad is the squad that were in the U13 team in 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 seasons with 8 players dropping off over the same period.

"The U17’s also had to fill in positions that have been vacated by players that were either forced out because of discipline or under performing. With the team needing to be beefed up with seven players, the selectors selected 12 that will undergo further trials when the programme commences on the 26 January 2008.

A further two players have been earmarked for first team duty and one released for underperforming. The Academy side that is participating in the SAB League has berth for four players. Players from the U17 squad will be considered for promotion as well as the trialists that were present. Nine players from the trials will be attending further trials with the current squad as from the 15 January 2009.

Overall the trials have indicated that there is a wealth of talent in the region and the youth are desperate and hungry to play. There is a dire need for more Youth Clubs and also competition for junior players. I am hopeful SAFA Umgungundlovu and its affiliates, the District Associations will give Youth Football the attention it deserves.

Players lining up to be registered and have their documents checked by the United coaching staff. Head of the MUFC Development Programme insisted that players produce documents as a prerequisite for participation in the trials.

U13 hopefuls are seen in action on day one of the trials.

U17 and U19 Players are seen listening to the coaching staff of United, over viewing the criteria, match rules and other qualities required to make the United Development set up.

All focused on the ball from the U17 trails games.