17 January 2013

Namibia/South Africa: Vries Primed for South Africa Return

BRAVE Warriors first-choice goalkeeper Virgil Vries is close to making a return to the South African Premiership with Maritzburg United.

Sources close to the goal minder say he is currently in South Africa finalising personal terms with the Pietermaritzburg club.

Vries previously played for PSL side Golden Arrows before falling out of favour with then coach Muhsin Ertugral after making only five appearances.

In January 2012, he was loaned to second-division side Carara Kicks whereafter he returned to the Namibia Premier League to turn out for Orlando Pirates from September.

Vries has been key component of Pirates defence, which has conceded only five goals in their 10 matches this season - a feat bettered only by league leaders African Stars, who have shipped four.

Another Namibian on Maritzburg's radar is Civics captain Heinrich Isaacks - who is also in South Africa at the moment.

The club's coach Ernst Middendorp is said to have been tracking the versatile player since October last year and had been sufficiently impressed by his displays to issue a warrant for his signature.

Like Vries, Isaacks is said to be close to agreeing personal terms with the club, which also had compatriot Rudolf Bester on its books two seasons ago.

Meanwhile Bester, who has spent the past two seasons on the periphery at Soweto giants Orlando Pirates, is reportedly on the wish list of PSL rookies Chippa United.

Should both Vries and Isaacks sign for Maritzburg, they will bring the number of Namibians contracted to South African clubs to seven.

Brave Warriors captain Ronald Ketjijere has established himself as a regular in the University of Pretoria (AmaTuks) side this season, while recently signed striker Wilko Risser is expected to bolster Chippa United's attack.

Also plying their trade south of the border are goalkeeper Efraim Tjihonge, who plays for South African National First Division club Milano United, while striker Benson Shilongo is reportedly on the books of another first-division side, Blackburn Rovers.

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