Durban - Maritzburg United have added five new players to their roster.
Tawanda Macheke, Genino Palace, Lucky Baloyi, Steven Pereira and Friday Samu have joined the Team of Choice ahead of the second half of the season.
Ernst Middendorp’s side will start the second half of the season just two points clear of the relegation zone and they will be hoping that the new signings can help them to avoid the drop.
This has been a busy transfer window for the Kwa-Zulu Natal based club. They have also lost talented attacker Bongokuhle Hlongwane who joined American club Minnesota United while Jose Ali Meza was released.
A striker by trade, Macheke joined as a free-agent having last been on the books of Zimbabwean club Black Rhinos.
Defensive midfielder Palace will be looking to kick-start his career after having spent the last five years in Portugal. During his time in Europe, the 23-year-old played for Sacavenense, Braga and Academica.
Middendorp will be hoping that the 30-year-old Baloyi can bolster his defence. The seasoned campaigner joins from Kwa-Zulu Natal rivals Royal AM and has a wealth of experience at the highest level having previously played for Kaizer Chiefs, Swallows and Bloemfontein Celtic.
“I’ll do my best to contribute to the team and help us achieve our goals for the remainder of the season. I am looking forward to using this opportunity to help the club in any possible way. It feels great to be here,” said Baloyi.
Cape Verde international Pereira will add some much needed international flair to the Team of Choice. The Netherlands born centre-back is a journeyman after having had stints in the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Portugal.
Pereira is hoping to use his time with Maritzburg to rebuild his career following an unfortunate injury.
“I am happy to be on the pitch again. After my injury, I did not play for a while. I feel blessed to join Maritzburg United and to be able to help them achieve good things in the second half of the season,” he said.
The 26-year-old Samu joins from Zambian side Green Buffaloes. Middendorp will be hoping that he can help to fill the void that was created by the departure of Hlongwane. The 1.78m tall forward brings in continental experience to Maritzburg as he featured in the CAF Confederation Cup earlier in the season.
Hlongwane was an inspirational figure for Maritzburg United over the last two seasons, eventually getting rewarded with a call-up to the Bafana Bafana side and becoming a key figure under Hugo Broos.