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Maduka Faces An Uncertain Future With Royal AM

  • June 24, 2024
  • 2 min read
Maduka Faces An Uncertain Future With Royal AM

Royal AM coach John Maduka’s future with the club hangs in the balance as they prepare to return for pre-season training on Wednesday.

Maduka and Royal AM endured a challenging season last term, unable to sign players due to a FIFA transfer ban imposed for unpaid settlements to Samir Nurković and Ricardo Nascimento. This ban covered three transfer windows, with the current window being the last. However, the club has appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The ban significantly impacted Royal AM, leaving them entrenched in the relegation zone for most of the season. As Maduka himself acknowledged, “Everyone knew our situation, and there was nothing we could do.” He also expressed frustration at witnessing other clubs strengthen their squads while Royal AM remained restricted.

Maduka fielded players from the DStv Diski Challenge, with some, like Sphiwe Cele who even scored against Orlando Pirates, making a positive impact. Nevertheless, the team’s relegation battle was a constant source of stress for the club’s management.

After a heavy 4-0 home defeat at Harry Gwala Stadium, Royal AM secured their top-flight status by defeating Moroka Swallows 2-1 in the final game of the season at Dobsonville Stadium. They finished 13th in the DStv Premiership with 33 points.

While Maduka’s future remains uncertain, there’s a huge possibility he might stay with Royal AM, having rejoined them in February last year. He guided Royal AM to a third-place finish in the 2021/22 season, securing CAF Confederation Cup qualification after Shauwn Mkhize acquired the Bloemfontein Celtic status at the start of that term.

However, Maduka left Royal AM for Maritzburg United at the beginning of the 2022/23 season. His stint there was short-lived, resulting in his dismissal during the 2022 FIFA World Cup break before his eventual return to Royal AM.

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