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Maritzburg United offer former Downs and Pirates man redemption

Thamsanqa Sangweni has been offered a shot at redemption in Sleepy Hollow with his unveiling as a Maritzburg United player.

Sangweni, now 30-years-old, joins the Team of Choice from National First Division outfit Richards Bay FC.

A son of Kwazulu-Natal, he started his career at Amazulu before moving to Mamelodi Sundowns. Sangweni never really settled during his time with Masandawana and was farmed out on loan several times before being sold to Orlando Pirates in 2017. Sangweni spent just over a year at the Sea Robbers before joining Chippa United for the 2018/19 season. The PE outfit released Sangweni after just six months leaving him without a club. In March he came back to KZN joining Richards Bay FC.

His commitment has been questioned in the past but Maritzburg United’s chairman Farook Kadodia says the club are willing to offer him a chance to prove himself again.

“Thami is a KwaZulu-Natal player and we felt that he deserved a platform to redeem his career in the PSL, in his home province. We are aware he’s had issues in the past but we don’t feel it’s fair to hold that against him at this stage,” Kadodia said in a statement.

“He appears to now be more mature than earlier in his career. He is aware that he won’t have too many more opportunities in top flight football and we get the impression that he is determined to knuckle down and make the most of the chance we are giving him.

Maritzburg United coach backs Sangweni

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Erick Tinkler, Coach of Maritzburg United during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 game between Maritzburg United and Orlando Pirates at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on 24 April 2019 © Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler had worked with Sangweni at Chippa United and believed the player can add quality in the middle of the park. Sangweni has 142 Premiership appearances to his name and his experience could prove invaluable to the Midlands club.

Sangweni will have one season to prove himself at the Team of Choice.

“The head coach has worked with Thami before and was keen to bring him on board,” Kadodia said.

“We’re optimistic that under Coach Eric, Thami will enjoy a successful stay at the club and that he can play an important role for us in the midfield engine room.

“We all know what the player can do when he’s focused and firing on all cylinders, he’s a class act, and we are optimistic that this is the player Maritzburg supporters will be seeing next season.

“He’s signed a one-year deal and we will assess the situation after that.”

Maritzburg United finished fourth in the 2017/18 season but in the last term spent most of the campaign rooted to the bottom of the table before pulling off a great escape on the final day of the season. United survived a promotion/relegation playoff to secure their spot in the Premiership and begin their season with a KZN derby.

Golden Arrows host Maritzburg United at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Durban on Sunday 4 August.

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