Xulu, who was crowned the Absa Premiership’s best defender last season, has confirmed the club’s targets for the 2018/19 campaign upon its kick-off.
The Team of Choice enjoyed a record-breaking season in 2017/18, managing their highest ever league finish in fourth position, while also racing through to their maiden cup final.
Coach Fadlu Davids’ side were unfortunate at the final hurdle as they were pipped to the Nedbank Cup crown by another surprise package in Free State Stars.
However, this has not fooled Xulu into thinking the club can now go on to challenge for further honours, as the skipper modestly sets the bar at a top-eight finish for his youthful side.
“This season the ambitions are clear – I think it’s top-eight. We’ve done it last year, whereby we ended up in a top-four position, and I think we can do the same this season,” said Xulu.
“I don’t think we have to dream big about, maybe, top-three or whatsoever. I don’t think this is the time to put pressure on my players, especially since I have a very young squad.
“But, last season was a learning curve for us, we were learning too much by going to the [Nedbank Cup] final – the very first time for Maritzburg, and I think it’s going to do good for the players. They learnt, and they now know how it feels now.”
Maritzburg could look to replicate their cup form from last season in the MTN8, where they will be up against Cape Town City at home in the quarterfinals next weekend.