SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt hopes to bolster his squad with a new player, to fill in for the injured Sibusiso Zuma, before the season begins.
“We need to find someone before the transfer window closes,” Hunt said on Wednesday.
“There is huge competition in areas, but with Zuma out we are now lacking.”
Zuma, a veteran of 36, moved to United in June from relegated Vasco da Gama, but injured his Achilles tendon at training and was expected to be out for at least six months.
Hunt had based his team’s turnaround strategy on the silky former Bafana Bafana captain after the club endured a dreadful last campaign following three successive league titles.
“We’ve reinforced well now and I think the attitude is much better this season,” he said.
“The six weeks we had [to prepare] have been very good, but proof will be points in the league and where we finish.”
Other prominent new signings this season, SuperSport confirmed, included defender Nasief Morris, returning from Europe, and gangly former Moroka Swallows striker Mame Niang.
Hunt had looked at former Ajax Cape Town and Kaizer Chiefs forward Stanton Lewis as a hopeful signing but failed to secure a deal with Bloemfontein Celtic.
United were set to open the 2011/12 season with an MTN8 quarterfinal tie against last season’s league runners-up, Ajax Cape Town, on Friday evening.
With Ajax starting a rebuilding phase — without coach Foppe de Haan, retired goalkeeper Hans Vonk and talisman forward Thulani Serero, who left for Ajax Amsterdam in the Netherlands — Hunt said he felt empathy for their hosts.
“I think they [Ajax] are also going through a little bit of what we’ve been through,” he said.
“But Ajax have been pretty much like that over the last few years — they will have a great season and then they will have a poor season because they lose three, four players and they build again.”
The Urban Warriors said they had defender Mbulelo Mabizela and Angolan striker Antonio Correira on trial for the week.
According to Ajax chief executive George Comitis, a decision on Mabizela — a former Bafana captain whose talents were surpassed only by a history of ill-discipline — should be made in the next week.
“Mabizela will train with our team for the next week,” Comitis said.
“The technical team will evaluate him and then make a decision.” — Sapa