Maritzburg United’s building a strong squad

Fransman's one of United's best signings

Fransman’s one of United’s best signings

Former Bafana Bafana internationals Bryce Moon and Bevan Fransman were amongst 13 new players introduced to the media as Maritzburg United players on Tuesday.

The two defenders joined from Cape Town City and Bloemfontein Celtic respectively and join a team that has placed huge emphasis on bolstering its defence ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.

It was an area they struggled hugely in last year when shipped the most goals – 53 – of all 16 clubs in the Absa Premiership.

Maritzburg have also brought in further defensive cavalry in the form of Themba Shabalala of Free State Stars, Dennis Wieldiech from Holstein Kiel FC in the German lower divisions as well as Siphesihle Ndlovu and Tsepeletso Motjatji from their development structures.

Goalkeeper Bongani Mpande also moves from Celtic, while another ex-Free State Stars player on their books is impressive Belgian striker Andrea Fillecia.

The other five players to come in are midfielders. They are Mondli Dlamini from development, Lebohang Mabe of Mbombela United, Luyanda Ntshangase from Izichwe Development Academy, Devon Saal from Santos and Harare City’s Blessing Moyo.

“We do not have the luxury of a big budget to attract a whole lot of big name quality players like some of our counterparts, especially in Gauteng,” chairman Farook Kadodia said. “Whatever we have available, we have to invest wisely and still be competitive.

“You will realise as I present the new players to you that we have done our best to secure quality players within the limited budget we have. We are confident that we are going to be really competitive come new season.”

A further eight players have had their contracts renewed or options taken up. They are captain Kurt Lentjies, Abia Nale, Deolin Mekoa, Mohau Mokate, Pogiso Sanoka, Fortune Makaringe, Lindo Mathebula and Virgil Vries.

Meanwhile, the club has parted company with nine others. They are David Booysen, Mohammed Anas, Kwanda Mngonyama, Thamsanqa Teyise, Menzi Chili, Tawfeeq Sallie, Khumbulani Banda, Thamsanqa Mkhize and Ryan Moon.