Maritzburg show their ambitions

Maritzburg United hope to continue on an upward trend by adding more quality members to their squad, the club announcing the arrival of Robyn Johannes and Ashley Hartog.

Experienced defenders Peter Petersen and Ruben Cloete recently signed contract extensions, as did coach Ernst Middendorp, while the club announced a new goalkeeping coach in the Pietermaritzburg-born Arthur Bartman.

The KZN midlands club spent the early months of last season in and around the top five before going on to record the best Absa Premiership finish in their history, ending the campaign in 11th spot and just a point outside the top eight.

Hoping to further improve a squad which has boasted the likes of Delron Buckley, Dillon Sheppard, Mohammed Awal and Cuthbert Malajila in recent times, the Team of Choice this week added Johannes and Hartog to the side.

The cool-and-composed Johannes was signed as a free agent, having last played for Orlando Pirates. The 26-year-old from Cape Town also turned out for Mamelodi Sundowns and for the University of Pretoria and spent a loan spell under Middendorp at Golden Arrows.

“We are delighted to have signed a player of Robyn’s ability and experience and feel that he will challenge strongly for a starting position which now gives us added depth in the heart of our defence,” said United’s Commercial Manager Younus Kadodia. Hartog excelled under Gavin Hunt at SuperSport United with his all-action performances in the centre of the park, from where he contributed to the side’s goal tally.

The 30-year-old is also from the Mother City, where he learnt his trade at NFD clubs such as FC Cape Town and FC Fortune.

Kadodia says that the club hope Hartog will increase their potency in the final third of the field.

“We are very pleased with the signing of Ashley which will now increase our options in attack. He is a professional who is hungry to succeed at this stage of his career and we all believe Maritzburg can be the perfect platform for him to do that.”

Maritzburg United are up against Bloemfontein Celtic in two friendly matches this Saturday.