Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids has impressed in his first season as head coach of the club. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Maritzburg United players will pocket R3.5 million if they triumph in the Nedbank Cup final against Free State Stars at Cape Town Stadium next Saturday.

This was confirmed by chairman Farook Kadodia.

The champions of the Nedbank Cup will walk away with R7 million and qualify for the Caf Confederation Cup.

“That status quo remains. We might end up with more. But nevertheless the important thing is that 50% will go to the team. This year is all about honouring players like Luyanda (Ntshangase who died last week), Vicks (Mlondi Dlamini died in a car accident at the start of the season) and Mondli Cele (who also died in car accident a couple of seasons ago).

"The club has progressed in to our first final and coach Fadlu Davids made the right statement that this final is in honour of three players we lost," Kadodia explained.

United has been without a sponsor for years now despite their great displays over the years.

“It has been a very tough marathon. It been eleven years since we were promoted in to the PSL. We’ve been keeping the franchise intact. We’ve shown we aspire to play good football. You can’t do it alone. You need business to be right behind you. That’s the message we need to get through. The club will only be on a strong level if we get support financially," Kadodia said..

United have enjoyed a very successful 2017/18 season. Earlier in the season they reached the semi finals of the MTN 8 and have since secured the place in top 8.

“There’s a lot of talent in Maritzburg but we need investment in to our development structures and academies. The young players should know they have a future in Maritzburg instead of plying their trade elsewhere. We need investment into our academies. We need more young players coming through."

United have caught a lot of people by surprise with the success they have attained.

“The key for us to maintain our success is to promote the success of local players in Pietermaritzburg, Durban and KwaZulu-Natal as a whole. We need to attract that talent.

"We need players who come out of school and universities to dream about playing for Maritzburg United. But like I said we need right type of investment,” Kadodia said.

The Team of Choice took a massive gamble at the start of the season by appointing the novice Davids as the head coach.

“We recognised when we fought relegation three years ago that when we brought in Ernst Middendorp in January we started to play good football. That’s what we wanted as the club. The vision was spelled out by the board a long time ago and was clear; we need to play attractive football. Attractive football that will attract the fans here. Although we were fighting relegation, and despite losing game after game the fans kept on supporting us," Kadodia explained.

Davids has turned United into a dominant force in his debut season as a coach in top flight football.

“In a transition when we lost Ernst and we knew exactly the style of training that Fadlu had here when Ernst was here. We started to build him up and gave him the time and the process to fit in as head coach.

"With that we had two success stories with Fadlu. One is the buy-in to play the young players. The MultiChoice Diski Challenge was a huge success. It allows coaches to show their strengths. It was a big factor for us. That’s why we are playing the football we are playing now. People enjoy this kind of football,” Kadodia said.

Sunday Tribune

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