30 January 2008
IN TOUCH WITH THE P.R.O
Compliments of the new season, hoping that you all had a wonderful festive season. I certainly had a good time with my family.
I wish you all the best for 2009, stay positive and believe in yourself. May I also take this opportunity to welcome our goalkeeper coach, Ronnie Kannelelo. Welcome home “Big Man”.
By the end of the first half of the PSL season, we were sitting on a rather uncomfortable position. Considering the way we had started the season, expectations were created that we would be somewhere on the top half of the log, but that was not to be.
We have to be realistic about things, whichever way you look at it, the fact of the matter is that we are building a team from scratch, and at the level at which we are competing, we were bound to struggle in the process of building the team.
The coach and his technical staff, have worked tirelessly to try and get the team to gel as quickly as possible. There were areas where we needed to tighten up. This is why Siphiwe Mkhonza was signed, that is why Ronnie was brought on board, that is why Fanyana Dhladhla was signed.
As if that was not enough, “JB” AND “Chielies” were signed from our under 19 development side, thanks to Katz Naidoo for the work he has done with these boys. All of these signings were meant to try and balance the team in all departments, because we mean business.
The “Team of Choice”, has been playing very well in many games. We have been very unlucky not to be getting points, when we deserved to. Against Swallows, Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, to mention a few games, we did not deserve to loose.
Our boys played very well, but again lady luck was not in our favor. Again, as if that was not enough, the fixture was ruthless against us, and correctly so, the Chairman referred to it as a “journey from hell”.
Consider this and conclude for yourself, Swallows on the 11th ( Sun.), Pirates on the 14th (Wed.), Ajax on the 17th ( Sat.), Supersport on the 21st ( Wed.) , Kaizer Chiefs on the 24th ( Sat.) and Celtic on the 28th ( Wed.). That means 6 games in 17 days. Six hard games that is. Anyone who can tell me if there is any other team with a stupid fixture like this, please step forward.
Enough of excuses now, I will leave that right there. Here is the scenario, after the Celtic game, we will be left with 11 games, only two of which will be played outside of Pietermaritzburg/Durban area. Of the 11, not less than 5 will be played at home at Woodburn Stadium.
If you consider the way our boys have been playing, we are positive that we are now going to be picking up some valuable points, to steer ourselves out of the relegation zone, and who knows, we may even end up somewhere in the middle of the table.
Let me assure you that everyone in the team is confident and very positive about what the team can deliver. We are not even thinking about relegation. We have good enough material and a very experienced coach to help the team to be on a respectable position on the log.
Let me end up by thanking all our supporters for standing by us even when the days are dark. The team needs you even more than before now, as we kick off the campaign of collecting points. “PLEASE MAKE SOME NOOOOISE, UMSINDO!!!!”
Brian “BZ” Zuma
31 October 2008
IN TOUCH WITH THE P.R.O
Without a slightest shadow of a doubt, our start in the new season has been a dream start any team in the world would wish for.
Collecting points at the beginning of the season is a priority in any league, so that in an event where the team hits a slump, which is common in football, at least you do have points in the bag. Remember that these are the points that count towards the end of the season, when you are either fighting to win the league, to be in the top eight or fighting relegation.
These early points matter to everyone. Also, by collecting points early, the team builds confidence in itself and can therefore deliver a better account of themselves as the season progresses.
Having said that though, it is a known fact that, consistency is what wins league championships. Nobody knows that better than our distinguished coach who has four league titles under his belt, with four different teams, an achievement yet to be equaled in South African Football. Based on that record, I am very confident that consistency will not be a problem for the Team of Choice this season.
It is for that reason that it is not necessary to panic after the defeat by Supersport United. About five of our regular players were not available for that game, for both injury and suspension reasons. The score really, was not a true reflection of the game, considering that we also created our own chances, and were denied by the woodwork in another instance. We will bounce back to our winning ways.
Quite a number of people have been asking me about the Supporters’ Club and the establishment of branches. These enquiries have been coming as far and wide as Newcastle. It is very encouraging to learn that people want to associate themselves with the Team of Choice, to give it the 12th player element that is so imperative in football. There is progress in that regard.
I first of all had to ensure that we follow a particular process in doing so. We first had to create a policy that would be the foundation and the basis of a creation of supporters’ clubs. A document to guide us through the activities of such structures. I am happy to say that we now have a policy. Obviously, the policy is dynamic, which means as we go along, input from the branches will continue to shape the policy.
Dates and venues for meetings for the establishment of branches will be announced. I appeal to all supporters to be patient as the process unfolds.
We are not going to rush things. We want to create solid structures through patient build ups.
We will be playing our first home game at home, against Lamontville Golden Arrows at Woodburn Stadium, on the 5th of November, 2008. I am saying that because we have played our two home games, against Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu, away from home.
We would like to apologize to our supporters for the situation that was beyond our control. Woodburn was not ready to be used at the time, and we all know that Harry Gwala is undergoing re- construction. This game being a derby, has a unique character, that all derbies have. It is going to be a difficult game, considering the way Arrows are playing, but The Team of Choice has the ability to upset Arrows, especially playing at home for the first time this season. We need to pack the stadium and intimidate them with the numbers.
Keep supporting the Team of Choice. Your team needs YOU!!!!!
Brian “BZ” Zuma
07 October 2008
IN TOUCH WITH THE PRO
On the 15th of September 2008, I officially assumed my position as PRO/Media Officer for Maritzburg United, on a part time basis. However, when we beat Kaizer Chiefs at Chatsworth, I was already involved with the team. It was therefore a very sweet arrival for me, claiming the scalp of one of the big teams in the premiership.
It will probably be of interest to properly and officially introduce myself to all MUFC fans, and the football loving community who visit our website. My name is Mandla Brian Zuma, born at Esigodini, Edendale in Pietermaritzburg, 43 years ago. I did my Primary and High School Education in Edendale and eSinathing, respectively, before studying to be a teacher for 3 years at Indumiso College of Education, in Pietermaritzburg. From 1985 I taught at Nansindlela Primary School in Imbali, but then got a scholarship from the Department of Education and Training to study for a diploma in Physical Education and Sports Administration. This, I studied at Transvaal College of Education in Pretoria in 1987.
I then went back to my school to continue with my teaching career, until 1993, when I was offered a promotion to be Youth Programme Development Co-coordinator in the Offices of the Department of Education and Training. In 1995, when Community radio was introduced, Radio Maritzburg became Community Radio number one, because we were the first to receive the broadcast licence. I was with radio Maritzburg from the beginning, but working after hours and week-ends as I was working for DET. In 1996, I left DET, and joined Old Mutual as a Personal Financial Advisor. At that time I was still involved with Radio Maritzburg.
In May 2000, I was approached by the new Regional Commercial Radio Station in Durban, P4 Radio, to come and join them. I joined P4 Radio in June 2000 as a night DJ, traveling between Pmburg and Durban, Monday to Friday. In December 2000, I was appointed programmes manager for the station, which meant I was in the office from Monday to Friday, and on air doing week-end Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. In October 2001, I relinquished the Management position and went back on air full time. In 2003, I was offered the Breakfast Show, which I did until 2004, when I did the Afternoon Drive Show.
In January 2005, I joined Msunduzi Municipality as Manager in the Office of the City Mayor. In 2007, a new department was started, and I was appointed Manager: Marketing and Communications, the position I still hold, which prompted me to register with Varsity College, for a diploma in Marketing Management, which I qualified for in July 2008.
I have been married for 15 years to my lovely wife Lindiwe, and we have been blessed with two beautiful boys, Brian junior, a crazy basketballer, and Lwandiswa who plays for MUFC under 13 development side, as well as KZN midlands Cricket side. We all live at Unit J, Imbali. I grew up playing a lot of sports including soccer, athletics and volley ball. Music is my life. That is my story.
Back to football, we are very pleased with the way the team has started the league campaign this season. Despite the fact that we started late with preparations, due to the play-offs, the boys have responded very well to the coach’s tactics, and this has laid a very good foundation moving forward. We are grateful to the coach, Gordon Igesund, he has put together a team that will seriously compete in the league. Management, especially our Chairman, has demonstrated his and the Directors’ desire to Make Maritzburg United a very competent team in the PSL.
As I continue to find my feet, I will be communicating with you on a lot of issues about the team, and it’s strategies on building relationships with the supporters, the media, the sponsors and a whole lot of other stakeholders. Very soon we will be visiting various parts of Pietermaritzburg and the surrounding areas with the view of establishing supporters’ branches. I am looking forward to meeting the supporters at these meetings. In the mean time, please do communicate with us on any ideas, concerns, complaints, gratitude and general issues.
Brian “ BZ “ Zuma