Local News - Issue 195

VV Makes A Return To SA To take The Helms At Pirates
Orlando Pirates have appointed former Kaizer Chiefs mentor Vladimir Vermezovic as their new coach. “VV” has signed a three-year deal and will start as soon as he gets his work-permit. The Buccaneers have been without a coach since Roger de Sa stepped down on transfer deadline day, with Eric Tinkler doing the business as caretaker coach since. “VV is not new to the South African condition. His hunger and discipline is impressive,” Dr Irvin Khoza tells the club’s official website. Tinkler will stay on as assistant coach. - Full Story via Supersport

The 2014 Nedbank Cup was launched on Monday evening in Johannesburg as Nedbank re-affirmed its commitment to South African football and its communities. The Nedbank Cup kicks off on Friday at 20h00 when Ajax Cape Town host Mamelodi Sundowns in an all-Premiership clash, with most of the last 32 fixtures to be played over the weekend, to be concluded next Wedensday. Known as South Africa’s own FA Cup, the tournament’s David and Goliath metaphor sees Mzansi’s lower division teams take a shot at football glory by tackling the giants and more established Premier Division clubs. According to Sydney Mbhele, divisional executive for group marketing at Nedbank, the tournament is in line with the bank’s vision of enabling all South Africans to “Make Things Happen”.  - Full Story via Kickoff

Vuyisile Wana might have to wait a little longer before making his debut for Moroka Swallows after AmaZulu lodged a complaint to the Dube Birds against registering the player with the PSL. This after Wana allegedly signed a pre-contract with Usuthu before changing his mind to join Swallows during the past transfer window. The former Santos striker had trained with the KZN-based side in January and reportedly signed a pre-contract with a hope to join the club in July this year. AmaZulu manager Japhet Zwane confirms the issue with Wana, but says he is still waiting for management on the way forward in terms of taking legal steps against the player for signing two contracts. - Full Story via Kickoff

Josta Dladla’s inability to play for Kaizer Chiefs over allegations of taking a banned substance has not only limited coach Stuart Baxter’s selection options, but has also cast a shadow on the midfielder’s future with the Soweto giants. Dladla, who tested positive for methylhexaneamine, is waiting for SAFA to deliver a ruling that will determine the nature of his punishment. The player’s agent, Steve Kapeluschnik, has already said that the midfielder will neither appeal the ban nor ask for a B sample to be tested. However, Chiefs’ Corporate Communications Manager Vina Maphosa says the Soweto giants are eager for the matter to be finalised. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bidvest Wits have abandoned their bid to sign Nigerian defender Azubuike Egwuekwe but have handed a trial to Kenyan winger Paul Were. Egwuekwe trained with Wits after impressing during the CHAN finals, and though the Clever Boys were initially keen on landing the big centre-back on a two-year deal, they have since pulled out due to "contractual complications". Egwuekwe's Nigerian club Warri Wolves has since confirmed European interest in their captain. - Full Story via Kickoff

The PSL has had a shocking 33 coaching changes over the last 24 months, with only one club – University of Pretoria still having the same gaffer that they had in February 2012.Thirty-three coaching changes involving the current top-flight teams proves just how unstable the coaching industry is in South Africa. AmaTuks coach Steve Barker is the only survivor of the comical coaching changes that has become the chorus that the PSL dances to, and is the only man that is still in the same job since two years ago.  - Full Story via Kickoff

AmaZulu fullback Marc van Heerden is back in the country following his trial with Swedish outfit Orebro SK. According to a source at Usuthu, the former University of Pretoria man failed to win a contract abroad, and is set to remain in Durban until the end of the season.  - Full Story via Kickoff

Mamelodi Sundowns were handed a R1.5 million cheque by the Premier Soccer League at the weekend for winning Q-Innovation 1. PSL head of stakeholder relations and communications, Connie Motshumi, handed the cheque to club official, Mike Ntombela ahead of Downs' 3-2 win over Ajax Cape Town at Loftus on Saturday night. The Brazilians won Q-Innovation’s first quarter with 17 points.  - Full Story via Kickoff

A total number of 20 000 tickets have already been sold for the much-anticipated international friendly between Bafana Bafana and Brazil at FNB Stadium. Bafana will be taking on the five time FIFA World Cup winners on Wednesday, 5 March. Tickets are selling for R50 upper tier, R100 below tier and R200 mid at Computicket and Shoprite and Checkers. Brazil will be using the match to unveil their 2014 World Cup kit and Bafana their new Nike kit. - Full Story via Kickoff

Mark Mayambela has been offered a three-year deal by Sweden’s topflight side Djurgadens IF. The former Bloemfontein Celtic, Orlando Pirates and Mpumalanga Black Aces man has been on trial with Djurgadens for a couple of weeks and he’s been impressive in friendly matches. “We received a contract offer on Friday. At the moment, we are ironing out the finer details of the deal and we should conclude by the end of this week. - Full Story via Kickoff

Ajax Cape Town caretaker coach Ian Taylor has no hard feelings towards the club after overlooking him for the permanent job as head coach. Taylor is set to be relieved of his duties as interim coach this coming week after spending less than a month in the hotseat since stepping in for Muhsin Ertugral last month. Taylor is, however, hoping that he will be able to stay on as the assistant coach. - Full Story via Kickoff

Ajax have admitted they are in talks with former Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa as they edge closer to appointing a new head coach. He was coy on his future when quizzed about joining Ajax earlier in the week. However, De Sa has now emerged as a hot favourite to land the job at Ikamva after club boss Ari Efstathiou confirmed that he is in negotiations with the former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper. - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs advanced to the next stage of the CAF Champions League following a 1-1 draw with Black Africa in Windhoek on Saturday night. Zimbabwean striker Kingston Nkhatha converted a Siyabonga Nkosi cross early on for Amakhosi, who progressed 4-1 on aggregate, while winger Willy Stephanus equalised with a low strike on the hour. Young goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse impressed in the absence of Chiefs captain and number one Itumeleng Khune, who was rested for the preliminary fixture. Stuart Baxter's men will now face Liga Muçulmana of Mozambique. - Full Story via Kickoff

SuperSport United have cruised into the next round of the CAF Confederations Cup after a 1-0 win against Gaborone United in Botswana on Saturday afternoon. Matsatsantsa had led 2-0 from the first leg, and Mame Niang’s goal on the stroke of halftime ensured there was to be no hiccups.
Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says they will be approaching the hyped-up friendly match against Brazil the same way they did against Spain. - Full Story via Kickoff

Ugandan striker Yunus 'Manucho' Sentamu will undergo a medical at AmaZulu following his arrival in Durban last week. As we reported last week, Sentamu is now in Durban and training with Usuthu. Sentamu's agent Ivica Stankovic confirms that the 19-year-old is about to join AmaZulu. "The boy is in Durban and we are working on finalising a deal," says Stankovic. Sentamu, who made a huge impression at CHAN, has been playing for Ugandan Premier League leaders Vipers SC. - Full Story via Kickoff

Thulani Serero has been included in the Bafana Bafana squad to face Brazil in Johannesburg on March 5. The Ajax Amsterdam winger has not played since being kicked out of camp in the final 2014 World Cup qualifier against Botswana, reportedly for not wanting to risk injury ahead of a big UEFA Champions League tie. Otherwise coach Gordon Igesund has gone with the tried and tested, though there is a call-up for young SuperSport United defender Thato Mokeke, who made his debut at CHAN 2014.

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Ronwen Williams
Defenders: Thabo Nthethe, Bongani Khumalo, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Siyanda Xulu, Anele Ngcongca, Thato Mokeke, Thabo Matlaba
Midfielders: Dean Furman, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Daylon Claasen, Thulani Serero, Andile Jali, Oupa Manyisa, Ayanda Patosi, Lindokuhle Mbatha, Bongani Zungu, Hlompho Kekana
Strikers: Bernard Parker, Tokelo Rantie, Dino Ndlovu

Orlando Pirates have signed left-back Kyle Davies from the Nedbank Ke Yona Team. The 22-year-old was identified through the Nedbank Ke Yona team search programme and played against Kaizer Chiefs in the recent Nedbank Cup match. The defender was unveiled last night during the Nedbank Cup 2014 launch in Johannesburg and showed his excitement on joining Pirates. - Full Story via Kickoff

Full outcome of SAFA meeting: The joint meeting of the Technical and International Affairs Committees of SAFA met as mandated by the NEC Lekgotla of the Association.
The NEC Lekgotla took place in Cape Town on 2-4 February 2014. The joint sitting considered a report of the head coach of the men’s senior national team for the 2014 CHAN tournament and after extensive deliberations, took the following decisions:
 • The meeting has taken note that the head coach has failed to deliver on his mandates for the 2014 World Cup, AFCON 2013 as well as CHAN 2014.
 • Notwithstanding, the meeting decided that the Association does not want to act in an impromptu manner but rather, must plan systematically for immediate and future programmes of the men’s senior national team and all of the other national teams, men and women. In this regard, the meeting decided that the head coach must continue with his work and in particular, get the men’s senior national team ready for the match between Bafana Bafana and Brazil scheduled for 5 March 2014.
 • The meeting also decided that there must be a clear plan for the next World Cup cycle of 2014 to 2018 and therefore, that any decision on any of our national team coaches for all levels must take this cycle into account. In this regard, further discussions will take place in the relevant structures of the Association to ensure that we have certainty around the national team for the next World Cup cycle.
• The Association will take a decision on the appointment of a technical director in March 2014 as this position is critical for ensuring the implementation of the development continuum in line with Vision 2022 of SAFA.
• The meeting emphasised the need for the technical director and the head coach to ensure full and systematic integration of the objectives and programmes of all national teams.
• SAFA must strengthen its administrative and technical capacity to ensure that it is geared to deliver on its mandate and objectives, particularly Vision 2022.
• The current programmes must be evaluated by the Technical Committee and shared with the International Affairs Committee for consideration and approval by the NEC.
• Lastly, the meeting notes the serious allegations that have been made against the head coach – that he allegedly instigated some or all players of the men’s senior national team during the CHAN 2014 tournament to demand bonuses.
In this regard, the meeting decided to appoint a six-member committee comprising Mr Norman Arendse (c), Mr Xolile Nkompela, Mr Andile Ndengezi, Mr Mohammed Mubarak, Mr Lucas Radebe and Mr Abel Rakoma to investigate the allegations and report to the National Executive Committee within 30 days from today.

Chippa United have released Burkina Faso international Saidou Panandetiguiri, who battled for regular game-time in Cape Town. Despite his sizeable profile, Panandetiguiri never made an impact at Chippa and he is now expected to continue with his nomadic tendencies that have already seen him play in Belgium, Malta, Portugal, Germany and France. Peter Koutroulis, the CEO at Chippa, confirmed that the 29-year-old has left the National First Division club. - Full Story via Kickoff

Maritzburg United have appointed Mandla Ncikazi as the club's new assistant coach. Ncikazi, who performed the same role at neighbouring Golden Arrows, replaces Fadlu Davids. Davids left the Team of Choice last month to reunite with Ernst Middendorp at Bloemfontein Celtic.  Ncikazi will serve under head coach Steve Komphela, who returned to United in December to succeed the sacked Clinton Larsen. - Full Story via Kickoff

Mamelodi Sundowns could add another foreign player to their ranks in the form of a Nigerian striker known as Hamsa Hamidu. Hamidu accompanied Sundowns to the four-club tournament hosted by Zanaco FC in Zambia last month during the mid-season break. According to a source close to the Brazilians, he may have done well enough to earn a contract with Pitso Mosimane's side. - Full Story via Kickoff

The South African PSL is only the sixth best league in Africa, and 61st in the world, according to the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). The world rankings for the strongest national leagues has been determined annually by the IFFHS since 1991 on the basis of all national (domestic league and cup) and intercontinental (confederation and FIFA club competition) results of all clubs. - Full Story via Kickoff

SA players abroad round-up: 
Tokelo Rantie who was restored to the starting line-up returned the faith with a second-half strike and his second goal of the season in a 1-1 draw with Burnley after netting in the return fixture as well.
Pienaar, meanwhile, played a central role in the Toffees' 3-1 defeat of Swansea City. ‘Schillo’ hit the crossbar and was lively throughout to set up a quarter-final meeting with Arsenal.
Bongani Khumalo and Dean Furman both played the full 90 minutes for Doncaster Rovers in their disappointing 2-2 draw with fellow strugglers Barnsley that saw them let a late lead slip.
In Poland, Daylon Claasen resumed league action with Lech Poznan after the winter break and helped them to a 2-1 victory over Sląsk Wrocław. Claasen was given the playmaker role behind the lone striker and had a good outing after his excellent form in recent weeks in warm-up matches.
Thulani Serero had one of his quieter games as he was replaced just before the hour-mark of Ajax Amsterdam’s 3-0 win over Heerenveen. His side remain four points clear at the top of the league and on course to retain their championship title.
Ayanda Patosi came on for the final 15 minutes of Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Gent in the Belgian league that keeps his Lokeren side in fifth and just about guarantees them a place in the championship playoffs.
Andile Jali was an unused substitute for Oostende as they scored late on to salvage a 1-1 draw at Mechelen and extend their unbeaten run to six matches.
Anele Ngcongca’s Genk finally found some cheer as they won 1-0 at Lierse to likely cement their place in the top six and advance to the Championship playoffs at the end of the campaign.
Darren Keet continued in goal for Kortrijk but it was an unhappy night again last Friday as they succumbed to a 2-1 loss at Clube Brugge.
Ntuthuko Radebe started and Phakase Mngadi came off the bench midway through the first half as Eupen suffered a depressing 1-0 home loss to fellow promotion hopefuls Mouscron-Peruwelz that puts a serious dent in their hopes of reaching the top flight next season.