Maritzburg United boss Farook Kadodia says his side thrice came back from the dead over the past season before finally retaining their Absa Premiership status on Wednesday.
The Team of Choice beat Royal Eagles 2-0 at the Chatsworth Stadium in Durban to ensure their survival for another season by winning the three-team Premier Soccer League Promotion/Relegation Play-Offs with a game to spare.
It was a miraculous escape for Kadodia and he hailed everyone associated with the club for their survival.
A key reason for Maritzburg’s escape has been a certain Eric Tinkler. Axed by SuperSport United and Chippa United over the past 15 months, the former Bafana Bafana midfielder has gone someway towards restoring his reputation in the KwaZulu-Natal capital.
He took over from Muhsin Ertugral, who was fired after just over a month where he failed to win a single game, and lead the club to five wins in their remaining 12 games to take them to the play-offs.
They are now unbeaten in six matches and Kadodia praised Tinkler for his efforts.
The Pietermaritzburg side spent 17 rounds of 2018/19 at the bottom of the league table and went through three coaches, the other two being Ertugral and Fadlu Davids, before finally escaping.
They made their move on the final day of the season when they climbed up a place to 15th to escape the automatic axe.
That sadly went to Free State Stars as United lived to fight another day. They were then emphatic in the play-offs, winning three out of three games to survive with one match to play. That form has been key according to Kadodia, who is keen to avoid a repeat of their struggles again next season.
THANK YOU #BLUEARMY ?
You’ve been immense all season! You’ve stuck by us through the tough times and we will be forever grateful #BlueArmy! ?#WeAreUnited #TeamOfChoice #TeamBlue pic.twitter.com/IOWyGBGHBy
— Maritzburg United FC (@MaritzburgUtd) May 29, 2019
– Report by Thahir Asmal