DURBAN – Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids has a plan in place to get the best out of new recruit Keagan Buchanan.
The midfielder struggled for game time at Kaizer Chiefs, so he joined the Team of Choice on a two-year contract.
“He is going to give us something different. We already have highly talented midfielders. He will have to adapt to our playing style and we have to understand that he hasn’t played competitive football in a long time.
It will take him so time to adapt and to get to the best level of fitness so it is important that we don’t give him so much too soon. That can increase the risk of injury and it is definitely not what we want to do,“ Davids explained.
United’s midfield talent includes rising stars Siphesihle Ndlovu, Lebohang Maboe and Fortune Makaringe. Buchanan will have to double his efforts if he is interested in breaking into the starting 11.
Ndlovu, Maboe and Makaringe were the pillars of strength in United’s success last season. The trio inspired the Team of Choice to fourth spot on the log and propelled the team from the KwaZulu-Natal capital city to two cup semi-finals which included the final against Free State Stars.
“Once he is fit and once he understands everything we want to do within our playing style, he will definitely be on the pitch and give us something different in our midfield,” Davids said as he acknowledged Buchanan’s talent.
Buchanan can draw inspiration from United’s new captain, Siyanda Xulu, who struggled to command a regular starting berth at the Amakhosi and left the club to join the Team of Choice last season.
He revived his career at United as he walked away with the Best Defender of the Season gong in the league at the end of last term.
Davids is optimistic that Buchanan can follow in Xulu’s footsteps. “Obviously that is the ultimate, getting someone that hasn’t played and ending up as the defender of the season (referring to Xulu). Of course that should be his target. It is not me who can do it to him but it is up to him. Let us hope he has that motivation to push himself and put his career on track,” he added.
United are still searching for experienced campaigners to bolster their squad. So far they have signed Buchanan and Denwin Farmer, but they are still waiting on SuperSport United regarding the services of Fagrie Lakay. “We will definitely sign more players. We are in the market for a striker and hopefully before the end of the window we can wrap up that striker’s signing.
“At the moment we’ve got no players that are over the age of 30. That shows that we don’t have any experience. After losing our captain Bevan Fransman (recently joined Highlands Park), we have to be clear that we have lost four captains. Firstly, it was Kurt Lentjies (Chippa United in June, 2017) and then we lost Denis Weidlich (joined Bidvest Wits in January) and Evans Rusike (joined SuperSport United in January) who was our vice-captain. We’ve just lost another captain.
There’s no doubt that we need some experience to help these young kids to grow up and be leaders themselves,” Davids stated.
United is currently assessing defender Nazeer Allie.