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Maritzburg United

Maritzburg United beat Royal Eagles to retain PSL status

17:21 SAST 2019/05/29
Eric Tinkler, Maritzburg United
The KwaZulu Natal province will still have three teams in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) after Maritzburg United retained their top-flight status

Maritzburg United will continue to play football in the top flight after finishing top of the relegation/promotion playoff standings. 

The Team of Choice needed a draw to at least be sure of their place in next season's PSL campaign, but they did more than enough as eased past Royal Eagles on Wednesday. 

Eric Tinkler's side survived automatic relegation from the PSL on the final day of the season, finishing 15th on the log table to book their place in the playoffs. 

Now, after collecting nine points in three games, Maritzburg United opened a six-point gap between them and second-placed Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM). 

Their final match of the relegation/promotion playoffs is against TTM on the weekend, but Tinkler is expected to give some of his fringe players some game time. 

Maritzburg United are one of the few PSL teams to have retained their top-flight statuses through the playoffs. 

The first club to come back from the playoffs was AmaZulu, while Polokwane City and Baroka FC also managed to do the unthinkable after a dismal season in the PSL last season. 

Maritzburg United's return means Stellenbosch FC will be the only team coming from the National First Division (NFD) next season. 

With the playoffs now a done and dusted, Maritzburg United can now start preparing for next season. 

The Pietermaritzburg-based side is expected to lose a few of their players ahead of next term, although no transfers have been confirmed thus far. 

Players such as Siphesihle Ndlovu and Fortune Makaringe are expected to move to big Gauteng clubs, meaning the club together with the management should work hard to find suitable replacements ahead of next season. 

Chairman Farook Kadodia confirmed earlier this year that they had agreed in principle with Mamelodi Sundowns over the sale of Ndlovu, while Tinkler confirmed Makaringe's move to Orlando Pirates not so long ago.