Booth: Worthy wait in cold

2011-12-15 10:47

Johannesburg - Ajax Cape Town defender Matthew Booth has come to the realisation his prolonged stay in footballing limbo was a blessing in disguise.

The former Bafana Bafana international's two-year spell at Mamelodi Sundowns was plagued by injury, resulting in the Brazilians' decision to release him at the end of last season.

Booth, who felt begrudged by Downs' handling of his situation, spent the next few months desperate for a return to the PSL stage, but several unsuccessful trial spells left the 34-year-old facing an early retirement.

He was invited to train with the Urban Warriors at the beginning of September, although they were initially reluctant to award a professional contract due to the same concerns that saw Sundowns drop the veteran centre-back.

However, two months later the man whose name is still chanted at his every touch was finally handed a deal in his home town, and he has melded seamlessly into Maarten Stekelenburg's starting XI.

"It's been fantastic to be playing again. I was cautious as to how my knee would react, but I followed my rehab to a tee and I'm feeling strong and fit - it's gone really well so far," Booth told the official PSL website.

"My team-mates have welcomed me and its great just to be back in Cape Town and playing again - it's been easy settling in as this is my home town."

Looking back on his lengthy wait for a contract, Booth added: "I was fit two or three months back, but there was a problem with my contract in the Ajax boardroom.

"But it actually worked out well for me, because in the interim I was training with the team, getting to know the players, and playing in some friendly games.

"So by the time it came to signing for the team and making my official debut, I had already got to know my team-mates well and was fully match fit."