Maritzburg United add experienced Nazeer Allie to defensive ranks

Nazeer Allie Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Premier Soccer League surprise package from last season Maritzburg United have signed experienced defender Nazeer Allie from Bidvest Wits, the club confirmed on Thursday.

The twice-capped Bafana Bafana international can play at either right-back or centre-back and provides some leadership at the back after the loss of last season's skipper Bevan Fransman to Highlands Park.

The 33-year-old did not have his contract renewed at former club Wits, but has penned a two-year deal with Maritzburg, who are coached by Fadlu Davids.

Allie spent 11 seasons with hometown club Ajax Cape Town before moving to Wits in 2015, where he won the league title in the 2016-17 campaign.

For Davids, it is about putting the finishing touches to his pre-season plans ahead of a scheduled August 5 campaign opener against Golden Arrows.

"We go to Potchefstroom for the final phase of our pre-season. We go into the end of week four, starting week five, and we'll be playing a couple of friendly matches over there," Davids told his club's website.

"It's more about getting the players together, getting them to know what our club is about, what our playing style is about, building the team spirit. That was our strength last season and we plan to build on that.

"It's about finding the best way forward for the season in terms of our playing style, that's what pre-season is about. We will have a couple more friendlies before we start our first league match against Golden Arrows.

"Up until then it's about finding the right formula, the best team to be on the pitch, not necessarily the best players, but the best team that will give you the best results."

Aside from Allie, the club has also signed young defender Denwin Farmer and midfielders Keagan Buchanan, Tholang Masegela and Sizwe Muthwa.

The KwaZulu-Natal side completed their best ever finish in the league last season, fourth, and also reached their first cup final, though they lost the decider of the Nedbank Cup to Free State Stars.