Local News - Issue 186

Baxter Commits To Contract Extension At Chiefs. Stuart Baxter has finally signed a two-year extension to his contract with Kaizer Chiefs. The new deal will see Baxter at the club until 2016. “It was imperative for us to renew and extend the contract because it is all about continuity and also being able to continue with our goals” Chiefs executive chairman Kaizer Motaung said in a statement on the club website. - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Mandla Masango could be on his way to Bidvest Wits. The Students, together with Moroka Swallows and Ajax Cape Town, are tracking the midfielder, but according to an informant Wits are the frontrunners to sign the 24-year-old in the January transfer window. "Mandla was previously offered to Ajax by Chiefs, who wanted Lebogang Manyama as part of the deal, but Mandla wasn't keen on moving down to Cape Town," the source revealed. Masango's agent Walter Mokoena had a meeting with Chiefs recently regarding the player, but it is still early days with regards to talks about a possible move. The Kwaggafontein-born midfielder has been at Amakhosi since 2007/08, but has struggled for game-time. - Full Story via Kickoff

Jabu 'Shuffle' Mahlangu's hopes of returning to top-flight football suffered a setback after he injured himself when training with SuperSport United. The ex-Kaizer Chiefs midfielder, who has come out of retirement, is being given a chance to revive his career by United coach Cavin Johnson. And Johnson reveals Mahlangu was doing well before taking a knock to his shin, which is expected to sideline the 33-year-old for a few weeks. "It's a shin injury," Johnson confirmed. "I hope he will get back to training soon. He has been doing well and I am happy about what he has been doing at training." Mahlangu, a former fan-favourite at Amakhosi, earned 20 caps for Bafana Bafana before off-field issues derailed his progress. - Full Story via Kickoff

South Africa claimed COSAFA U-20 Youth Championship honours by beating Kenya 2-0 in the final of the competition in Maseru, Lesotho last Saturday.  Amajita won the event for a fifth time via strikes either side of the break from Ayabulela Magqwaka and Man of the Match Siyanda Ngubo at Setsoto Stadium. - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs have announced the deal to sign Lebogang Manyama from Ajax Cape Town has fallen through. According to Chiefs, Manyama's representative informed them that his client will instead be moving overseas at the end of the Premier Soccer League season. Rumours are Manyama and his business manager Maimane Phiri were unhappy that the clubs had initially agreed to the sale without first consulting them. Amakhosi on Friday night released a statement on their official website, which said: "The much anticipated move of the 23-year-old midfielder, Lebogang Manyama from Ajax Cape Town to the Amakhosi is put on ice. - Full Story via Kickoff

Former Malawi tactician Kinnah Phiri has expressed his delight to be back at Free State Stars. The Malawian, who recently took up an assistant coaching role under interim boss Themba Sithole, had two previous stints with the club, once steering the side to a fifth-placed finish in the league. "Bethlehem is like a second home to me," Phiri told Stars' official website. "The people here are friendly and they have welcomed me with open arms." Phiri expressed confidence 14th-placed Ea Lla Koto, who parted ways with Steve Komphela at the start of the month, can turn their season around. - Full Story via Kickoff

Platinum Stars’ veteran striker Henrico Botes has expressed his concern on what might happen to the youngsters after they’ve received their ‘Christmas bonuses’. Dikwena have made it no secret that it is their policy to reward their players and staff should prize money be won, and having already won a total of R12-Million after scooping the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout, Botes confides that their youngsters may need some guidance. In the past, clubs have struggled to get all their players to return on time from their festive holidays, especially after handing out lucrative bonuses. - Full Story via Kickoff

Mpumalanga Black Aces have released defender Eduardo Ferreira from his contract on compassionate grounds. The ex-Ajax Cape Town and Mamelodi Sundowns man, who played seven games for Aces this season, is set to return to Brazil to be with his family. Ferreira was born in Rio de Janeiro but surprisingly represented Equatorial Guinea in an international friendly against Spain last month. AmaZayoni released a statement, which said: "Ferreira had a discussion with the Aces owners this morning citing his ailing mother back in Brazil. - Full Story via Kickoff

Benni McCarthy has said he wants to be Bafana Bafana coach in the near future. He has not been idle since hanging up his boots at the end of last season, and is progressing well as he works toward attaining his UEFA B coaching licence. McCarthy is one of the few former South Africa internationals who is unlikely to ever need to work again, but despite retiring a wealthy man, he is determined to become a top level coach. “I won’t stop until I’ve been Bafana coach,” he said. “Once I’ve got my badges, I’m going straight for that Bafana job. Gordon must watch it!  When I’m coach, any players who want to wear the shirt will be in. It will be Bafana without backstabbing,” McCarthy quips, referring to his own fraught history with SAFA and national coaches. The ex-FC Porto and Orlando Pirates striker has been doing the practical aspects of his course at Glasgow Celtic, under Celtic manager, Neil Lennon. “Lennon has been top class, he didn’t have to do this for me; played against him twice, that’s all, I hardly knew him,” McCarthy said. “I’m learning a lot from him, and really enjoying myself.” McCarthy, Bafana's Bafana's record scorer with 31 goals, is currently living in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh (his partner Stacey is from Scotland) and commuting to Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city. “The drive is only 45 minutes, this is a small country. It’s cold, but I’m loving it here,” says the 36-year-old, who is the only South African to win the UEFA Champions League.

Platinum Stars coach Allan Freese has signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract with the club, having previously been operating in a caretaker capacity. Freese, who took over the reins when Cavin Johnson joined SuperSport United in the offseason, has been rewarded for steering Dikwena to Telkom Knockout and MTN8 honours. “Platinum Stars are delighted to announce that head coach Allan Freese has signed a permanent four-and-a-half-year contract with the club on Wednesday,” Stars said in a statement.”  - Full Story via Kickoff Nigeria

South Africa have dropped one place and will end the year at number 62 in the FIFA world rankings, released on Thursday. Bafana Bafana started 2013 at number 85 in the rankings, so have made some progress up the table in the last 12 months, with their year high when they reached 56 in May. They have, however, dropped two places in the African rankings and are now rated as the 13th best country on the continent, with Guinea and Libya having moved past them since the November list. - Full Story via Kickoff

Thanda Royal Zulu general manager Thabani Gumede has been found guilty of "attempted assault" of a match official. Gumede has been suspended for four league matches and fined R100 000, of which R75 000 is suspended for a year. The club was also fined R100 000, of which R75 000 is suspended for a year. "Thabani Gumede and Thanda Royal Zulu FC were charged with offences arising from an incident on 10 November 2013 when Gumede insulted and attempted to assault match official Olani Kwinda after a match against United FC," a PSL DC statement reads. "Both parties pleaded guilty as charged.” - Full Story via Kickoff

NFD Nedbank Cup qualifying wrap: Milano, Black Leopards, Santos, FC Cape Town, United FC, African Warriors, Witbank Spurs and Thanda Royal Zulu have all reached the last 32 of the Nedbank Cup.
The National First Division sides played qualifiers against each other, which concluded on Wednesday.
Milano United 1-0 Jomo Cosmos
Black Leopards 3-0 Blackburn Rovers
Santos 3-1 Chippa United
FC Cape Town 1-0 Baroka FC
Roses United 1-2 United FC
African Warriors 1 (4)-(3) 1 Vasco da Gama
Witbank Spurs 1-0 Sivutsa Stars
Maluti FET College 2-3 Thanda Royal Zulu
Komane's strike followed a brace from teammate Mhlengile Cele, while Tumelo Mokwa and Pako Mahaabo netted for Maluti, who had Lesly Baloyi sent off in the second stanza.

SA player’s abroad round-up: Injuries and disappointing defeats were the order of the day for South Africa’s overseas contingent last weekend, with the exception of Thulani Serero and Steven Pienaar.
Bafana Bafana midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi limped out of his side’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea midway through the first half, robbed of the opportunity to impress against one of England’s giants.
Steven Pienaar came off near the end of Everton’s 4-1 thumping of Fulham, but not before he had assisted for the opening two Toffees goals in another lively performance.
There was misery for South Africans playing in the English Championship, with Dean Furman and Bongani Khumalo both starting for Doncaster Rovers as they lost 3-0 at home to Yorkshire rivals Leeds United.
Tokelo Rantie was a second-half substitute for Bournemouth, but could not help them avoid a 2-0 defeat at home to Birmingham City.
Kgosi Ntlhe played the full game for Peterborough United as they were held 2-2 by Gillingham in League One.
Thulani Serero was pulling the strings for Ajax Amsterdam in midfield as they got a last-gasp 2-1 win at strugglers Cambuur, netting their winner two minutes into injury-time.
Kamohelo Mokotjo was once again a starter for PEC Zwolle as they were disappointing 2-1 losers at home to Heerenveen on Friday night.
Anele Ngcongca’s Genk lost 3-1 at Standard Liege to likely end their title hunt in Belgium this season.
Darren Keet kept a clean sheet when he came up against Ayanda Patosi’s Lokeren, the game finishing in a 0-0 draw. The point was not welcomed by either side, who thought they should have got the win.
Ntuthuko Radebe and Phakamani Mngadi both played for promotion-chasing Eupen in the second-tier, the latter off the bench, as they won 1-0 at home to White Star Brussels.
As predicted there was no Daylon Claasen for Polish side Lech Poznan through injury, while Siyanda Xulu, Lebogang Phiri and Ricardo Nunes have all begun the winter break for their respective clubs.
Sergio Marakis was on the bench for Portuguese side Maritimo in their 1-1 draw with Académica.
Lukas Schenkel played for FC Thun as they lost 2-1 at strugglers Aarau in the Swiss League.