Cape Town - Maritzburg United have their fingers crossed with regard to the
availability of three foreign players as they chase their first points
of the new Absa Premiership season.
The Team of Choice, who opened
2019/20 with a 1-0 loss to Arrows, say they are hoping the two men they
signed from Oceania recently - midfielder Micah Lea’alafa and defender
Daniel Morgan - will finally have their work permits processed before
Friday’s clash with Highlands Park at home.
In addition, United
boss Farook Kadodia said yesterday that José Alí Meza of Venezuela - an
attacker offered to them on loan by Sundowns recently - would be given
until the end of the week to notify them whether he has sorted out his
much-reported family issues and could commit to the United cause this
The situation involving the three players also seems to
have an impact on what coach Eric Tinkler can settle for as his main
tactical approach for the season, considering that some players will
give him better options than others for his essential choice between
persisting with a 3-5-2 formation or changing to a 4-4-2.
and Lea’alafa, both 28 years old, had to miss the team’s unsuccessful
outing to Arrows in Durban last Sunday, and wait longer to make their
debuts under Tinkler.
Said Kadodia about the three men: “We can’t
say for certain whether Morgan and Lea’alafa will have their paperwork
sorted this week, but we are hopeful it will be done.
Meza, he is still dealing with his family who apparently want him to
remain in Venezuela. We are giving him until the end of the week to give
us a final answer on the possibility of him coming to us. If it is no,
then we will have to look for another attacking player.”
said after the clash with Arrows on Sunday he was disappointed that Meza
had not been able to sign with United yet because he saw the player
fulfilling a special role "as a No. 10" in his team.
Tinker has 25
warriors in his squad at present, comprising three goalkeepers, six
defenders, 12 midfielders and four strikers. Two of the very mobile and
energetic midfielders, Bandile Shandu and Mxolisi Kunene, have been
featuring as wingbacks on the right and left respectively.
probably only when all the new men are available that the fans will be
able to see Tinkler’s system of choice and the 11 men he believes are
best suited for it from the start of the match.
Against Arrows at
Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Sunday, the coach granted Phumlani Ntshangase a
debut next to Miquel Timm in central midfield, while Zimbabwean recruit
Gabriel Nyoni was employed as a striker next to Judas Moseamedi but
later moved to the right flank as part of changes designed to bring
United an equalising goal that never arrived. But it is possible that
these players might end up being used differently in the future, not
least because different opponents require different strategies.
Kadodia: "It was disappointing to concede that goal through a defensive
error against Arrows last Sunday. I thought a draw would have been a
fair result on the day.
"Now, we are looking for a good game and
good crowd turn-out against Highlands Park on what is a public holiday
on Friday. Everybody knows they are tough to beat, so our guys have to
be up to the challenge on the night."
Kick-off at 20:00.