Maritzburg United unveil 13 new players ahead of new PSL season

Maritzburg United have unveiled 13 new players for their first team squad ahead of the 2016/17 Premier Soccer League season‚ including defenders Bevan Fransman and Bryce Moon‚ and a player from the lowers leagues in Germany.

The acquisition of Fransman from Bloemfontein Celtic was an open secret‚ while the capture of the versatile former Bafana Bafana star Moon gives coach Ernst Middendorp options.

United have further moved to improve their defence with the signing of German Dennis Wiedlich‚ who joins from Holstein Kiel in the third-tier in that country.

The 30-year-old has had a journeyman career that has also seen him turn out for Hansa Rostock and Rot-Weiss Erfurt‚ among others.

Maritzburg also confirmed the signing of Belgian forward Andrea Fileccia from Free State Stars‚ as well as his teammate‚ defender Themba Shabalala‚ and goalkeeper Bongani Mpandle from Celtic.

Zimbabwe international defender Blessing Moyo has been drafted in from Dynamos.

Midfielder Lebohang Maboe has arrived from National First Division side Mbombela United‚ striker Devon Saal from Santos and young midfielder Luyanda Ntshangase has been signed from the KwaZulu-Natal Academy.

Middendorp has also promoted three players from the club’s MultiChoice Diski Challenge side in Siphesihle Ndlovu‚ Mondli Dlamini and Tso Motjatji.

Maritzburg chairman Farook Kadodia says the club has worked within their means to back up coach Middendorp after their brush with relegation last season.

“We have reinforced the squad in consultation with the head coach for an improved performance this coming season‚” Kadodia said.

“We do not have the luxury of huge budgets to arrange a whole lot of big name quality players. We have done our best to secure quality players within our budget.”

Fransman is the headline act‚ with the former Kaizer Chiefs‚ Moroka Swallows and SuperSport United centre-back likely to skipper the side this season.

His experience of playing in Europe and for one of the biggest clubs in the country will aid what is a fairly young Maritzburg squad.

Fileccia could be a top signing for the team if he can regain full fitness after a crippling knee injury ruled him out for the last five months. He had scored six goals in nine league starts for Stars before that.

The 21-year-old Moyo is rated highly in Zimbabwe and is part of the national team that has qualified for the 2017 African Nations Cup. He also played for Zimbabwe in the recent COSAFA Castle Cup in Namibia.

Meboe‚ also 21‚ won plenty of suitors last season after helping Mbombela into the PSL play-offs and how he adapts to top-flight football will be an intriguing aspect of the new campaign.