Maritzburg confirm departure of star defender

Absa Premiership outfit Maritzburg United have confirmed that they have parted ways with former Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs defender Siyanda Xulu.

Read: Chiefs trio sign contract extensions!

Xulu, 28, will see his contract with the Team of Choice come to an end today (30 June 2020), with the club opting not to excercise the option of extending it.

Maritzburg announced on their Twitter page late on Monday afternoon, that their relationship with the player had come to an end.

The KwaZulu-Natal-based outfit also released a statement via their official website, which read:

All good things must unfortunately come to an end and this is the case with Siyanda Xulu’s contribution to Maritzburg United as we part ways with the central defender after three successful seasons.

The 28-year-old arrived at the Team of Choice in 2017 after he had struggled to get regular game-time at Kaizer Chiefs. The KZN-born defender hit the ground running in Pietermaritzburg and quickly reminded everyone of his huge talent as he went on to play 29 of 30 league matches in his first campaign for United.

In total he played 68 Absa Premiership games, as well as another 19 cup matches for United – a remarkable record especially when considering that his third season was affected by injury as well as the coronavirus lockdown which has halted play for the past three months.

Siyanda’s form was also recognised at national team level as he received a recall to the Bafana Bafana setup last year.

Team of Choice Chairman Farook Kadodia paid tribute to Siyanda’s contribution and wishes him well for his next chapter:

“We would like to sincerely thank Siyanda for the fantastic service he has given us over the three seasons,” the Chairman stated.

“He added immense leadership, experience and steel to our backline and helped ensure that we have had one of the best defences in the Premier Soccer League in recent years – we are grateful for his part in this.

“We sat down with Siyanda and explained to him that under the current economic situation, and with the cloud of Covid-19 hanging above us, we were not able to make any decisions right now [regarding a possible extension]. We thought it best for the player’s future that we allow him to move on to a club of his choice. We wish him all the best for his future.”

Prior to playing for Chiefs and then Maritzburg, Xulu spent three seasons at Russian club Rostov FC. Before that, he began his football career with Mamelodi Sundowns.

Xulu also took to his Twitter page to bid farewell.

The Bafana Bafana defender has been linked with a move to Orlando Pirates and a possible return overseas.