Local News - Issue 189

Maritzburg Sign Komphela
Steve Komphela has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal to become the new head coach at Maritzburg United. The Team of Choice were without a coach following the sacking of Clinton Larsen, and Komphela has now been roped in to drag the team out of relegation danger. He has signed for two-and-a-half seasons. Komphela has been without a job after being sacked at Free State Stars in early December. - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs are waiting to hear from Knowledge Musona regarding his plans for when his loan spell expires at the end of the campaign. The striker is owned by German club Hoffenheim, where he failed to make an impact prior to his return to Naturena in the off-season. "We have given Musona an opportunity to think through his situation," Chiefs general manager Bobby Motaung told Amakhosi's official website. - Full Story via Kickoff

George Maluleka has officially become a Kaizer Chiefs player. The midfielder had penned a three-and-a-half year contract at Naturena. Maluleka told Chiefs' website: "It is a great feeling to join Kaizer Chiefs. Chiefs is a big club with a professional infrastructure. This is of course a big step and a new challenge in my footballing career. I had to dig deep but I can confidently say, it was not a difficult decision to make. I would like to bring an additional dimension of football to the team. There's a lot of quality at Chiefs and I would like to see myself as adding to that quality. - Full Story via eNCA

Bafana Bafana boss Gordon Igesund has called up Ajax Cape Town defender Thato Mokeke to his squad for Chan to replace the injured Tsepo Masilela. Bafana Bafana squad: Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Moeneeb Josephs, Siyabonga Mpontshane. Defenders: Thabo Nthethe, Tefu Mashamaite, Buhle Mkhwanazi Kwanda Mngonyama, Thato Mokeke, Tebogo Langerman, Vuyo Mere, Bryce Moon, Tshepo Gumede. Midfielders: Hlompho Kekana, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Lerato Chabangu, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Jabu Shongwe, Ryan Chapman, Lindokuhle Mbatha. Strikers: Bernard Parker, Katlego Mashego, Edward Manqele - Full Story via Kickoff

Former Orlando Pirates, Bloemfontein Celtic and Platinum Stars coach Owen da Gama is holding talks with “a few clubs” and has not ruled out a return to the top-flight in the not too distant future. Da Gama acrimoniously parted ways with Platinum Stars in 2012 following his suspension over bribery allegations. This despite an internal investigation by the club to probe the allegations absolving him of any wrongdoing. After cutting ties with Dikwena, Da Gama had a brief stint with National First Division side Dynamos. - Full Story via Kickoff

Leslie Notsi has quit his position as the Lesotho coach for First Division side United FC, replacing Dan Masilela. Notsi handed in his resignation to the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) late last week as he headed to Pretoria to meet with his new team. Last July he led the Crocodiles to a fourth place in the regional COSAFA cup played in Zambia, where Lesotho ended the tournament as the top-scoring team. - Full Story via Kickoff

Clayton Daniels says he will continue to give 100 per cent for Bloemfontein Celtic, despite having signed a pre-contract with SuperSport United. The former Ajax Cape Town defender only joined Siwelele a few months ago after a frustrating spell at Mamelodi Sundowns, but he promises to make his remaining time in Bloemfontein a productive one. “I still have a contract with Celtic and am committed to giving my best to the club,” he aid. “I will only talk about SuperSport United at the end of the season." - Full Story via Kickoff

Bloemfontein Celtic have handed a trial to Botswana international Jackie Motlhatego. The midfielder was spotted training with Celtic at the weekend, with club CEO Khumbulani Konco confirming the Zebras ace is being assessed. "Yes it's true ... he is training with the club and still being assessed by the technical team," Konco said. Motlhatego could become the second Motswana on Phunya Sele Sele's books. His compatriot Joel Mogorosi joined the side from Mochudi Centre Chiefs in July 2012. - Full Story via Kickoff

Mamelodi Sundowns say Edward Manqele is welcome to move to Kaizer Chiefs – providing the offer is right. The 26-year-old is currently on loan at Moroka Swallows, where he has netted eight times so far. That form has prompted interest from Chiefs, while the likes of Orlando Pirates are also reportedly eyeing the situation. Sundowns insist they will not keep hold of an unhappy player, but that the offer must match their valuation. “We will not stand in the player’s way and as long as Kaizer Chiefs’ offer is a good one. - Full Story via Kickoff

Luyolo Nomandela could still leave Free State Stars in January – providing the club is happy with the offer. The midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to Kaizer Chiefs, and the player’s agent, Tim Sukazi, says something could still happen if Stars’ management get a deal they are happy with. “There has been a lot of interest in Luyolo, especially from Chiefs,” Sukazi said. “He is very much open to a move, but he still has another season on his contract after this. I believe Stars will be willing to let him go, perhaps even in January, but only if the offer they receive is good enough.” - Full Story via Kickoff

Former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Lionel Mutizwa has been handed a trial with Moroka Swallows. Mutizwa, who spent last season on loan at University of Pretoria from Downs, is looking to win over Swallows coach Zeca Marques, as is Swaziland international Felix Badenhorst. Both players are training with the Dube Birds at Bedfordview Sports Ground in Johannesburg. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bafana Bafana and PEC Zwolle midfielder Kamohelo Mokotjo says he is enjoying his spell with his Dutch top-flight club and is happy to spend their winter break in Stellenbosch, Cape Town. Zwolle are currently holding their mid-season training camp at the University of Stellenbosch, along with German side Vfb Stuttgart, and look set to play matches against local teams Ajax Cape Town and Vasco da Gama. Stellenbosch is becoming a preferred choice for training camps due to their world-class infrastructure that consists of two stadiums, a high performance centre, a full-size astro-turf field, all the University’s facilities and some of the country’s top schools. - Full Story via Kickoff

Arthur Bartman is coming out of retirement to stand in goal for Golden Arrows. Bartman, who started one cup game for Kaizer Chiefs last term, took up a goalkeeper coaching role at United in July after calling time on his playing career in the off-season. However, the Team of Choice have announced the 41-year-old has left the club for Durban rivals Arrows. - Full Story via Kickoff

SuperSport United have apologised to Orlando Pirates for claiming Lehlohonolo Majoro has signed a pre-contract with the Buccaneers. The Kaizer Chiefs striker was meant to join Matsatsantsa as part of a deal which took George Maluleka to Naturena, and SuperSport even went as far as to announce on their website that the player had joined them. But Majoro was not happy with the move, instead holding out for a switch to Pirates instead. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bidvest Wits are also chasing the signature of Ajax Cape Town defender Thato Mokeke. The Students have already signed the Urban Warriors’ Thulani Hlatswayo on a pre-contract, and it seems that the 23-year-old from Kimberley is next in line. Ajax have also lost Lebohang Manyama, who has already had his first training session with SuperSport United. Mokeke was called up to the Bafana Bafana squad for the 2014 Chan tournament, replacing the injured Tsepo Masilela. - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs have confirmed they are trying to sign in-demand Mamelodi Sundowns striker Katlego Mphela. Mphela, whose contract with Downs expires in June, has also attracted interest from Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United, as well as from abroad, according to the player's agent Glyn Binkin. - Full Story via Kickoff

SA players abroad: There was FA Cup joy and misery in equal measure for South Africans competing in the oldest football competition in the world over the weekend, while one Mzansi-born star also got a rare run this season in Israel.

Kagisho Dikgacoi played the full 90 minutes for Crystal Palace as they defeated fellow English Premiership side West Brom 2-0 away from home; an excellent result for the struggling Eagles. Palace will now tackle either holders Wigan Athletic or MK Dons in the fourth round away from home, with all ties in the next round to take place on the weekend of January 25 & 26.

Steven Pienaar was rested by Everton as they picked a second-string selection but still romped home 4-0 against Queen’s Park Rangers, with manager Roberto Martinez not risking one of his prized assets against the Championship side.

Dean Furman started for Championship outfit Doncaster Rovers as their miserable run continued with a 3-2 home loss to League One side Stevenage that piles the pressure on coach Paul Dickov. Khumalo could only make the bench as he works his way back from a twisted knee. Stevenage have set up a home meeting with Everton, having already lost to the Premiership giants in the League Cup this season
Tokelo Rantie might have hoped to be among the goals when Bournemouth hosted League Two Burton Albion, but the game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Rantie has netted just once in 14 appearances for The Cherries this season and has been relegated to the bench, though this might be an encounter where manager Eddie Howe feels he can get goals to boost his confidence. The match is likely to be rescheduled for January 14 and should Bournemouth advance, they will take on Liverpool at home in the next round, a perfect platform for Rantie to show his potential.

Meanwhile in Israel, South African-born goalkeeper Dani Amos played for Hapoel Tel Aviv as they won 2-0 at Maccabi Petach Tikva. Amos had lost his place in the first team in September, but has been restored for the past two games.