Buchanan, who was released by Chiefs at the end of last season, played the full 90 minutes in the KZN Premier’s Cup quarter-final loss to Golden Arrows last Saturday at Princess Magogo Stadium, as coach Fadlu Davids rested players like Siphesihle Ndlovu, Fortune Makaringe and Lebogang Maboe in KwaMashu.
The 27-year-old showed some fancy footwork but struggled with cramps as the match wore on, which is hardly surprising given he only played 10 games in two years with Amakhosi prior to penning a three-year deal with the Team of Choice.
“Obviously it’s good to be back in a team set-up. It’s good to get minutes under my belt,” Buchanan tells KickOff.com.
“It was my first competitive friendly match since I left Kaizer Chiefs, like a full-on friendly, like a professional match.
“The coach is trying to get me fit. I understand what he wants from me and I just want to put in more effort.”
Chiefs also got rid of Xulu after he only played 10 matches in two years for the Soweto giants following his return to the PSL from Russian club FC Rostov. Xulu resurrected his career in stunning style at Maritzburg last term, featuring in 35 games and scoring three goals en-route to being named PSL Defender of the Season and earning the captain's armband for this coming campaign following Bevan Fransman’s departure to Highlands Park.
Buchanan distanced himself from talk that he will look to respond from his Chiefs exit in the same fashion as Xulu.
“Obviously my aim is to play as much as I possibly can. I wouldn’t say I’m trying to emulate him, but I’m trying to play and have game-time,” Buchanan says.
“The coach is trying to get me into fitness and obviously I’m trying to do what he wants from me.
“Like I said, I’m trying to get into the thick of things and get myself in 90 minutes in the condition of what the coach wants.
“From then onwards, my normal game will come through.”
Maritzburg will open the 2018/19 season at home on Sunday against neighbours Arrows at Harry Gwala Stadium (15h00).