Local News - Issue 177

May Mahlangu’s future hangs in the balance with his contract with Swedish side Helsingborgs IF set to expire in less than two months. The injured Bafana Bafana midfielder is back in South Africa as he undergoes rehabilitation following surgery on his Achilles tendon. He is expected to return to full training in January. - Full Story via Kickoff

Maritzburg United have officially confirmed Clinton Larsen as their new coach. KwaZulu Natal- born Larsen stepped down from the Bloemfontein Celtic coaching job suddenly on October 7, and was linked to the vacant Polokwane City coaching seat. However, the former Manning Rangers and Orlando Pirates midfielder will now be leading the Team of Choice this season. - Full Story via Laduma

More than 1,000 Orlando Pirates supporters converged at OR Tambo airport to bid farewell to their team ahead of their CAF Champions League semi-final against Esperance on Saturday. Pirates jetted out off the country on Wednesday night. The club’s self proclaimed ‘number-one supporter’, Philip Jwarha, said he is confident the Mighty Buccaneers will triumph in Tunisia. - Full Story via Kickoff

Former Bafana Bafana and Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe is set to be a special guest at Elland Road for the club's second tier match against Birmingham City on Sunday. 'Chief', as he is affectionately known to Whites supporters, will be presented to the crowd inside the ground ahead of kick-off. Leeds have been organising events saluting the contribution of their finest players, which includes Radebe. - Full Story via Kickoff

Puma have ended their association with SAFA, because of match-fixing allegations against Bafana Bafana and a lack of communication. On Tuesday, SAFA were dealt a blow when ABSA announced they were ending their six-year association with the national team. Puma have now announced they are doing the same. Puma joined forces with SAFA in June 2011 and the partnership was expected to last beyond the 2014 and 2018 World Cups. - Full Story via Kickoff

SuperSport United have brought in Bafana Bafana legend, Mark Williams, in order to help their strike force for a short time. Williams, who scored both goals in Bafana’s famous 2-0 win over Tunisia in the 1996 African Cup of Nations final, is spending time with Matsatsantsa’s strikers at present, offering them advice on leading the line. SuperSport find themselves on top of the PSL but Cavin Johnson obviously believes that his forwards can do with a little extra mentoring, something he hopes Williams can offer. - Full Story via Soccer Laduma

Kaizer Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune has been nominated for the South African Sportsman of the Year award, while the club is in the running for the Team of the Year accolade. Khune, the reigning PSL Footballer of the Season, is vying with Proteas cricket star Hashim Amla and Olympic gold medal winner Cameron van der Burgh for the coveted individual prize. - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs injury update - Siphiwe Tshabalala will resume full training on Thursday as Kaizer Chiefs prepare for this weekend’s Telkom Knockout Cup clash against Free State Stars. But while ‘Shabba’ has recovered from his abductor muscle injury and the Bafana Bafana quartet of Bernard Parker, Itumeleng Khune, Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Tsepo Masilela have returned, there is less good news on two strikers. - Full Story via Kickoff

South Africa's new era will be guided by the emerging talent that will be displayed in upcoming Bafana matches, which includes the likes of Ayanda Patosi and Kgosi Nthle. Bafana Bafana's positive 1-1 draw with Morocco in Agadir City was a step in the right direction for a side aiming to enter a new chapter, which will be fuelled by Gordon Igesund's bold ambitions. With Igesund intent on developing Bafana Bafana into a force to be reckoned with on the African continent and worldwide, the team will need to rely on a combination of youth and experience. - Full Story via Goal

SuperSport United star and former South Africa under-23 right winger Sameehg Doutie spoke to Goal about his ambitions. The 24-year-old SuperSport talent was once the only South African player selected among the Best Eleven players at the inaugural Caf Under-23 Championship. Now Doutie feels he is ready to prove himself at senior national level. Some of the players that he played with at junior level include Thulani Serero, Kamohelo Mkotjo and Andile Jali. - Full Story via Goal

Terror averted in the Nigeria vs Ethiopia game on Sunday when two suspected Somali terrorists who intended to disrup Nigeria's World Cup qualifier against the Walya Antelopes ended up blowing themselves up before they could carry out their heinous plans. The bomb went off in an apartment in the upscale Bole district, about five kilometres away from the Stadium where the match was played. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bloemfontein Celtic have officially unveiled Ernst Middendorp, who has revealed three reasons why he joined the club. The former Maritzburg United coach was welcomed to Celtic at a press conference at Siwelele Park, the club’s training ground in Bayswater. Middendorp has signed a three-year deal with the club. - Full Stoy via Kickoff

Free State Stars coach Steve Komphela has turned down a potential move to take over at Maritzburg United. Last week Ernst Middendorp resigned as a coach of Maritzburg United to take over the coaching reins at Bloemfontein Celtic. Komphela’s business manager Tim Sukazi confirmed that the Midlands side made an enquiry about his client. - Full Story via Kickoff

Brazil will finalise preparations for the 2014 World Cup in their country with a match against Bafana Bafana next year. As hosts, the five-time world champions have no competitive matches before the tournament kicks off in June, but they have lined up a whole host of friendlies. They will play South Africa on March 5 in Johannesburg. SAFA officials refused to comment on the match as yet, but are currently in Brazil. - Full Story via Kickoff

Malawian international Hellings ‘Gabadihno’ Mhango is now ready to start playing for Bloemfontein Celtic after being handed his work-permit.  Mhango is yet to play for Phunya Sele Sele after arriving in the country a few months ago, but did feature in the Macufe Cup victory over Kaizer Chiefs over the weekend. Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco says Mhango could come into contention for the next League match against Moroka Swallows on October 22. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bafana Bafana legend Lucas Radebe has taken on a role with SAFA’s newly-formed technical committee, which is headed by ex-Mamelodi Sundowns boss Natasha Tsichlas. Radebe, who helped South Africa claim Africa Cup of Nations honours in 1996 and captained Leeds United in a distinguished playing career, will report to Tsichlas, along with the likes of one-time Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Farook Khan and former Banyana Banyana mentor Greg Mashilo. - Full Story via Kickoff

After a spate of injury setbacks, Orlando Pirates have finally received some good news on Thandani Ntshumayelo. The midfielder limped out of the midweek match against Mpumalanga Black Aces – the same one in which Siyabonga Sangweni tore his Achilles – prompting fears that he could spend a significant time on the sidelines. However, a scan on his foot has come back all clear and he is expected to return to training on Monday. Unfortunately, Sangweni faces up to 12 weeks on the sidelines with an Achilles injury. - Full Story via Kickoff

Togolese defender Emmanuel Mathias is stuck in limbo at Chloorkop as Mamelodi Sundowns have exhausted their foreign quota. The five spots per club allowed by the Premier Soccer League are occupied by his compatriot Dove Wome, Ghanaian Rashid Sumaila, Zambian Mukuka Mulenga, and Zimbabwean pair Khama Billiat and Cuthbert Malajila. Mathias penned a two-year contract with Downs in pre-season after completing a successful trial with the big-spenders. - Full Story via Kickoff

SA players abroad round-up: The international break meant that only a handful of South Africans were in action in club football last weekend. Young rising star Phakase Mngadi missed out for his Belgian second-tier side Eupen through suspension, while compatriot Ntuthuko Radebe did not play through injury. - Full Story via Kickoff

Orlando Pirates will keep up an intense week of preparations ahead of the African Champions League semifinal as coach Roger de Sa looks for away success in Tunisia on Saturday. Full sessions are planned at their home base today and tomorrow before the team board the plane for north Africa. Pirates fly via Dubai tomorrow afternoon and are scheduled to land in the Tunisian capital on Thursday afternoon. - Full Story via Sowetan

Esperance's home a fortress. The difficulty of the task facing Orlando Pirates in the second leg of their African Champions League semifinal is laid bare in Esperance's remarkable home record in the tournament. It would be fair to say that the Tunisian club have turned their Stade Olympique de Rades into a fortress, having suffered just three defeats there in their last 60 home matches in the CAF Champions League dating back to 2001. - Full Story via Sowetan

The former Erbil SC defender played his first match for Kaizer Chiefs against Bloemfontein Celtic during the Macufe Cup on Sunday. Kaizer Chiefs' new signing Ivan Bukenya played his first match for the club on Sunday, during Chiefs' 1-0 loss to Bloemfontein Celtic in the Macufe Cup. The Ugandan started the match for AmaKhosi and said that he felt at home during his time on the pitch, despite being on the losing side. - Full Story via Goal

Borman hopes to build on debut. Danleigh Borman, who once played alongside Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, hopes to lock down a starting berth at Mpumalanga Black Aces after making his debut for AmaZayoni last week. Borman, an October signing from SuperSport United, played the full 90 minutes in the 3-1 loss to Orlando Pirates in the last 16 of the Telkom Knockout. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says "talks are ongoing" between Safa and the PSL to establish the availability of players for the African Nations Championship (Chan). The tournament, which is reserved for local-based players, will take place on home soil from January 11 to February 1 next year. Igesund may struggle to select his best team as the event falls outside of a Fifa calendar date, meaning clubs are not compelled to release their charges for international duty. - Full Story via Kickoff

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Lebohonang Mothibantwa has joined AmaZulu on trial.
‘Congo’ has battled to find a new job after being released by Vasco da Gama and also spent time on trial at Platinum Stars and Moroka Swallows a few months ago. An opportunity has arisen in Cyprus, but Mothibantwa wants to try out with Usuthu first. - Full Story via Kickoff

Manqoba Mngqithi, who resigned from Golden Arrows recently, is yet to receive any job offers. The 42-year-old stepped down in the wake of a 3-2 victory over Bidvest Wits in a Telkom Knockout last-16 tie on October 4. Mngqithi and former Bloemfontein Celtic coach Clinton Larsen have been strongly linked with Polokwane City, after Duncan Lechesa’s resignation, but there have been no firm offers. - Full Story via Kickoff

Free State Stars coach Steve Komphela has turned down a potential move to take over at Maritzburg United. Last week Ernst Middendorp resigned as a coach of Maritzburg United to take over the coaching reins at Bloemfontein Celtic. Komphela’s business manager Tim Sukazi confirmed that the Midlands side made an enquiry about his client. - Full Story via Kickoff

Gabonese referee Otogo Eric will take charge of Orlando Pirates’ CAF Champions League second semi-final against Esperance on Saturday. Eric will be assisted by his countrymen, Vinga Theophile and Engone Jean Christian. The Buccaneers go into the match in a confident mood after a 0-0 draw in the first leg at Orlando Stadium last week. Any win, or a scoring draw, will see them through to the Final.

Gert Schalkwyk has finally found a club after signing with Cypriot side Bagcil FC. The former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder looked set to sign with Moroka Swallows in August after being offered a contract, but then failed to show up at training and blew his chance. However, he has now penned an eight-month contract, and could be joined in Cyprus by Lebohang Mothibantwa if he fails his trails with AmaZulu.

SuperSport United midfielder George Maluleka is hopeful he can make his return against Moroka Swallows in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals on October 19. The former Ajax Cape Town star, who has six caps for South Africa, has been sidelined since sustaining a knee injury in a Premiership tie against AmaZulu on September 1. - Full Story via Kickoff

Orlando Pirates winger Daine Klate feels Esperance are under more pressure than Bucs ahead of their Champions League semi-final showdown on Saturday. The teams will collide in Tunis, with Pirates needing a scoring draw to progress following the goalless stalemate in the first leg at Orlando Stadium. - Full Story via Kickoff 

New Golden Arrows coach Mark Harrison is bracing himself for a baptism of fire in his first game in charge – against Orlando Pirates in the Telkom Knockout Cup. Harrison left Chippa United to fill the hotseat vacated by Manqoba Mngqithi last week, and would have had his first game against Kaizer Chiefs but for a postponement. - Full Story via Kickoff

Chippa United have given up their pursuit of Terror Fanteni following the striker’s failure to link up with the National First Division club. Chippa CEO Peter Koutroulis tells KickOff.com that the Chilli Boys were keen on enlisting the 29-year-old’s services but things have not gone according to plan. - Full Story via Kickoff

SuperSport United coach Cavin Johnson has explained the absence of Senegalese defender Mor Diouf in his starting lineup of late. Diouf was a key performer for Matsatsantsa last term, notably winning the PSL goal of the season award. However, he last played for the team in a 1-1 draw with Mpumalanga Black Aces in the League on September 15. -Full Story via Kickoff