Maritzburg United chairman Farook Kadodia has paid tribute to Evans Rusike who left the club to join SuperSport on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old Zimbabwean spent two-and-a-half years at Maritzburg where he scored 20 goals in 74 league appearances.

In a statement on club’s website, Kadodi said it was a difficult decision to let Rusike go.

Here is the full statement from the club chairman:

 “On behalf of the directors of Maritzburg, we officially confirm the transfer of our striker Evans Rusike to SuperSport United, as of Tuesday.

“It was quite a difficult decision for the club as Evans had become a household name in the City of Choice. The club and the player had numerous pressures over the past two years as far as a move is concerned. The player’s desire was to play in Europe, and he touted this Maritzburg move as his door into Europe.

“As time went along, he looked at the proposal that was made to him by SuperSport and the negotiations were very professional. As Maritzburg United we want our players to be happy at all times and we supported the move. This kind of move shows the youngsters that there is a goal in football in South Africa, and thereafter Europe.

“As a club we now give the opportunity to the other strikers, Andrea Fileccia and Mohau Mokate, to take this chance to fill in the shoes of Rusike.

“The deal suited both the club and the player, in that it was a package deal done with SuperSport; there are some exciting young players that will be joining Maritzburg at the start of the new season, and there was also cash involved in the deal.

“The club has been under pressure – the expectation of the partnership with the municipality didn’t materialise the way we expect it. Maritzburg unfortunately don’t have the resources of the SuperSport’s, of the Gauteng teams and that is our challenge.

“We cannot sustain our whole operation without trading players. We appeal to the fans to stay behind the team, we’re still challenging for our goal, a strong top eight position, the coach has been fulfilling his obligations and we need the support going forward to ensure we stay where we are.

“This kind of income helps us to off-set the shortfalls. Football is a business, a very big business. And for Maritzburg to survive, we need sponsors, we need partners like the municipality to grow the brand stronger.

“I’m very confident there will be a lot more exciting players coming through the Maritzburg team and we want to make this City of Choice proud that the Team of Choice are contributing to the success of football development and to the success of the team in the PSL.”

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