Fransman braced for Ertugral effect


Former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates mentor Ertugral returned to Ikamva in December for a fourth stint in charge of the Parow-based outfit at the expense of Dutchman Stanley Menzo.

Mid-table Maritzburg will kick off 2018 against the relegation-threatened Urban Warriors at Cape Town Stadium tonight (20h00).

"It's going to be a difficult game," Fransman, an Ajax development product, told his club's website.

"When new coaches come in, there is often a turnaround, players looking to cement places, putting that little bit extra into their game to secure their place in the line-up."

That said, the Team of Choice skipper is determined to return to Pietermaritzburg with the win and take their points tally to 21 from 15 games.

"It would be nice to have 21 points after half the season. The second round can be a lot tighter, harder to grab points, teams are much more organised. So we have to make sure we finish our 15th game [against Ajax, Maritzburg must still play SuperSport United in a postponed first-round encounter] with three points, and take it from there."

The ex-Chiefs centre-back said his team quickly got down to business after a short festive break.

"The break was quite short, just a few days before Christmas, and Boxing Day really, and then we were back on the 27th, so it didn't really feel like we had been away!

"But we are professional football players, this is our job, our career. We at least had a few days to get away from football and clear our minds, but after that it was back to business.

"Our main focus [on returning to training] has been playing with good shape, timing of movement, and such things."