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John Maduka expected to return to Royal AM

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Malawian coach John Maduka is expected to make a sensational return to Royal AM, according to an online report published in South Africa’s Daily Sun.

The publication reports that Maduka is believed to be considering the return after several meetings with club president Shauwn ‘MaMkhize’ Mkhize and chairperson Andile Mpisane.

The speculation is also being fuelled by Maduka’s frequent attendance of Royal’s league matches in recent times, according to the publication.

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“And the shifting of Khabo Zondo from the club’s senior structure to juniors has further been ruled as MaMkhize clearing the path for the 52-year-old’s return,” it reports.

Royal are currently under the mentorship of Abram Nteo who was Zondo’s assistant.

The publication’s informant firstly confirmed that Zondo was set for an exit but it was later decided that he should stay on.

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“John is at this stage still considering his options, but he is very much interested in returning to Royal AM. Once he is ready, he will be put in charge. Remember, John left while MaMkhize was away on holiday, and he didn’t leave on a bad note,” the informant told the publication.

Royal would find it difficult to resist the temptation of re-uniting with Maduka who remains their most successful coach after inspiring them to a third-place finish in the 2021-22 DStv Premiership season.

Royal currently lie fifth on the table with 20 points from 15 matches.

However, MaMkhize denied talking to Maduka about his return.

“It’s not true that Maduka is coming back to the club,” the publication quotes her.

The former Malawi National Football Team captain’s team sensationally finished above Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and just below runners-up Cape Town City.

The remarkable finish qualified Royal for the Caf Confederation Cup.

However, Maduka resigned in June, saying his future with Royal was uncertain.

He was later unveiled at Maritzburg United, who had fired Ernst Middendorp.

But, with the team rooted to the bottom of the DStv Premiership log table early last month, having won just twice in 13 matches, Maritzburg lost their patience and sacked Maduka.

The firing is expected to be a long drawn out battle as Maduka complained to the PSL Dispute Resolution Chamber, claiming that he was unfairly dismissed.

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