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Palmer planning for new season

MARITZBURG United coach Ian Palmer is looking forward to a full pre-season with his team and hopes for a much improved showing for the season ahead.

The team reports back for training on June 27, the players currently enjoying a break after their dramatic end to the previous campaign where they avoided relegation in the closing couple of weeks with wins over Aces, Sundowns and Ajax.

Palmer is presently enjoying some family-time in Johannesburg, but its not been all rest for the former Orlando Pirates player.

“After the season ended we went down to Cape Town to watch the Vodacom play-offs and the play-off games between Vasco and Leopards, looking for potential players.

“We’re always looking to uncover hidden talents, looking for the next Rudolf Bester or Felix Obada.

“Its tough without a sponsor, we’re not like the big clubs that can go out and spend cash on whoever we want to buy, so we have to work hard to find players.

“I appeal to the businesses of Pietermaritzburg – they need to come on board and back the team so that it can grow from strength to strength and continue to serve the community.”

Palmer says there will be a few departures in the off-season, and there are a few areas on the pitch that need to be strengthened.

“Our on-loan players, like Gert (Schalkwyk) and Diyo (Sibisi), won’t be staying. But I’m pleased to say that 80 or 90% of the squad will still be here.

“We are looking to try and bring in a striker, a central defender and possibly an additional goal keeper.

“I’m looking forward to getting in a full pre-season with the squad. Together with the club’s support, we need to do things differently this season – no one sets out to fight relegation.

“We must aim for a Cup final, and a place in the top eight, and build from there,” he told the Maritzburg website.-PSL

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