Local News - Issue 201

Wits’ Vilakazi Confident Of Moving To Denmark After A Successful Trial
Bidvest Wits midfielder Sibusiso Vilakazi is confident of securing his move to Brondby in Denmark next season after a positive trial spell. Vilakazi returned back to the country last Friday after what he termed as a "most successful" trip to Denmark. The Students captain says he did well during the trials. "I played a reserve team match and played the whole 90 minutes. - Full Story via Kickoff

The South African Premier League is headed for a 'local is lekker' ending on the coaching front, with only three clubs under foreign guidance. There has been an uncharacteristic wave that has thrust local men into the majority of the coaching jobs in the country’s top tier. The big two – Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates – along with Bloemfontein Celtic are the only clubs coached by foreign coaches which is a huge swing in the favour of local gaffers considering that at the beginning of last season 10 of the League’s 16 clubs were under foreign coaches.  - Full Story via Kickoff

Injured striker Nathan Paulse says he is yet to discuss his future with Ajax Cape Town but is hopeful he will still be at Ikamva next season. The 31-year-old, who tore a hamstring earlier this month, is contracted to the Urban Warriors until June 30. "I am yet to meet with Ajax; they do have an option”, says Paulse. "I am pretty hopeful things will turn out well. We still have a few games to get through so there is no need for any haste, but I am quite happy from my side. I've enjoyed being back at the club again. It's been a tough year for us but we can only expect to do better next season." Regarding his recovery, Paulse reveals he is making good progress.  - Full Story via Kickoff

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Mark Mayambela is still reeling with shock after a fan was killed before a match involving his team Djurgarden and Helsingborgs on Sunday. The Swedish clubs met on the opening day of the season, but trouble started well before kick-off when a 44-year-old Djurgarden supporter was fatally attacked in the city centre. The game was then cancelled after 34 minutes when violence broke out at the stadium. "I think it started before the game when one of our supporters was brutally murdered before the game and apparently was hit with a bottle on his head," said Mayambela. - Full Story via Kickoff

To celebrate the Barclays Premier League Live South Africa event in Johannesburg, title sponsor Barclays treated a group of football fans to an exclusive match day experience. Fans who showed passion and support for their favourite Barclays Premier League teams were rewarded with VIP seats to watch live matches, special coaching sessions with former Chelsea captain Marcel Desailly and the opportunity to take part in the #YouAreFootball Experiment at the BPL Live event at Zoo Lake Sport Club, Johannesburg this past weekend. The #YouAreFootball Experiment monitored the heart rates of fans and ex-players simultaneously in South Africa and the UK during some of the biggest games of the season – Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs have not yet decided whether they will participate in the CAF Confederation Cup this season. Amakhosi were booted out of the CAF Champions League following a 3-2 aggregate defeat to AS Vita Club on Saturday. That means they drop down to the second-tier competition, the CAF Confederation Cup, though Chiefs spokesperson Vina Maphosa says they are yet to decide on whether they will participate.  - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs' spectator misbehaviour and misconduct at FNB Stadium during the CAF Champions League match on Saturday could land not only the club in trouble, but also SAFA. Violence reared its ugly head when a soccer fan invaded the pitch at FNB Stadium and threatened to beat a match official. This happened after a group of Amakhosi players swarmed around the match officials to voice their displeasure at their performance. The CAF match officials were later escorted by security personnel to the dressing rooms. - Full Story via Kickoff

Mamelodi Sundowns attacking midfielder Khama Billiat will make his return from injury against title rivals Kaizer Chiefs at the weekend. The 23-year-old has recovered from a foot complaint that has sidelined him for Downs' previous six games. Meanwhile, Brazilians goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands has been ruled out for six weeks after sustaining an ankle injury in the 3-1 win at Platinum Stars last Tuesday.  - Full Story via Kickoff

Influential Kaizer Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune started full training on Monday with the expectation that he will make his return against title rivals Mamelodi Sundowns this weekend. The national goalkeeper has been sidelined with an ankle injury for the past four weeks. He has, however, been ruled out of Chiefs’ next game against Golden Arrows in the League on Wednesday. According to Amakhosi coach Stuart Baxter, if all goes smoothly then Khune will be ready to play next weekend.  - Full Story via Kickoff

Botswana will play host to the 2014 COSAFA Cup tournament, taking place from September 13 to 28. The competition will be held between the first and second rounds of the qualifiers for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco. It remains to be seen what sort of squad the Bafana Bafana coach at the helm at the time will be able to muster with the Premier Soccer League on the go and overseas players ruled out entirely as the dates fall outside the FIFA calendar.  - Full Story via Kickoff

SAFA has embarked on a nationwide drive to improve the standard of refereeing in the lower leagues across the country, starting with the Northern Cape. The first course will take place in Kuruman from March 28-31. The same venture moves to Kimberley from April 1-5. SAFA has set a target of training 75 regional league referees in the province of Northern Cape. - Full Story via Sport 24

AmaZulu are yet to agree terms with striker Bongani Ndulula over a new contract. ‘Drogba’ has scored six goals in 26 matches for Usuthu this season, and his overall performances have been good enough to convince the club to offer him a new contract. The 24-year-old’s current contract expires at the end of the season. “Negotiations between us and the player are ongoing,” says AmaZulu general manager Peter O’Connor, "but everything will be finalised at the end of April.”  - Full Story via Kickoff

Maritzburg United striker Yakubu Mohammed is at back at training after recovering from a bout of malaria. The 23-year-old Ghanaian, who has scored once in 12 appearances this season, was diagnosed with the mosquito-borne infectious disease in January. “He had a bout of malaria at the end of January early February and he had to recover from that,” says United operations manager Quintin Jettoo.  - Full Story via Kickoff

Richard Henyekane says he would consider making his move to Free State Stars a permanent one. Henyekane, who recently scored a hat-trick against Bidvest Wits, joined Stars in January on a loan deal from Mamelodi Sundowns following a lack of game-time at Chloorkop.  "I am happy with the game-time I am receiving and it feels good to be playing at my best again," Henyekane is quoted as saying by Ea Lla Koto's official website. "If Stars were to offer me a contract and my parent team agrees then I would definitely not mind making the move to the Free State.” The 30-year-old is contracted to Sundowns until June 2016.  - Full Story via Kickoff

The Nedbank Cup quarter-final draw was done last week. Some mouth-watering clashes have been brought up in the draw, including a repeat of the 2013 Final between Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United. The only non-PSL side still remaining, African Warriors, will fancy their chances at home to Maritzburg United. Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates have faced each other twice this season, with each team winning 1-0 away from home. Wits have beaten Bloemfontein Celtic twice this season, including a 3-0 victory in the MTN8.

Bloemfontein Celtic vs Bidvest Wits
African Warriors vs Maritzburg United
Kaizer Chiefs vs SuperSport United
Mamelodi Sundowns vs Orlando Pirates
Matches to be played on 12 and 13 April. There have been 77 goals scored in the 2014 Nedbank Cup thus far, generating R77 000 for the Goals for Goals campaign.

Bafana Bafana defender Bongani Khumalo will return to Tottenham Hotspur next month after a serious knee injury cut short his loan spell at Championship side Doncaster Rovers. Khumalo, who is currently recuperating in South Africa, sustained the blow during Bafana Bafana's 5-0 loss to Brazil in a friendly at Soccer City on 5 March. The 27-year-old's manager Glyn Binkin said: "He is out until the end of the season. He is going back to Spurs in six weeks' time." Khumalo is contracted to Spurs until 30 June, 2015. - Full Story via Kickoff

National First Division bottom side Roses United have signed four former PSL players, with six games to go to preserve their second-tier status. Former Golden Arrows and Mpumalanga Black Aces defender Joseph Henyekane has found a new home at Roses after more than two years without playing football. Roses have also signed Posnett Omony and Luyolo Mapolisa. Omony, the Ugandan goalkeeper, previously played for Black Leopards in the top-flight and Mapolisa’s last PSL team was Golden Arrows, and he was with FC Cape Town this season. - Full Story via Kickoff

Orlando Pirates Youth Technical Director Augusto Palacios insists the findings of the investigation into age-cheating in the club’s youth system is not as important as the academy opening again. The Buccaneers announced this afternoon that the academy has re-opened, 18 months after being closed following alleged widespread age-cheating.  - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs fans will breathe a sigh of relief following news that Knowledge Musona’s injury is not as serious as initially feared. The Zimbabwean international got hurt in Saturday’s 2-0 victory against AS Vita Club in the CAF Champions League – a tie they lost 3-2 on aggregate. However, Musona’s agent Mike Makaab says his client only suffered an ankle sprain, though there is still no indication as to how long he will be out for.  - Full Story via Kickoff

Former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs striker Nkosinathi Nhleko is inviting youngsters for trials, with the successful participants going to Sweden for a tournament. The trials are organised by Nkosinathi Nhleko & Associates and will be held during the first week of April. “My company, Nkosinathi Nhleko & Associates, is inviting players to join the Sweden Showcase,” says Nhleko. - Full Story via Kickoff

Darren Keet has put off much-needed shoulder surgery to keep on playing for his Belgian side Kortrijk this season. His club have revealed that the Bafana Bafana keeper needs to go under the knife at some point to correct a long-standing problem. With Kortrijk having missed out on the more lucrative Championship play-offs in the remainder of the Belgian campaign, there was a suggestion that the 24-year-old could have the operation done now to make sure he is ready for the start of the new season. - Full Story via Kickoff

The Bafana Bafana Legends’ match against their Nigerian counterparts has been postponed to April 27. The match was due to take place in Kano on March 30 to launch the African Legends initiative and settle an 18-year-old score between the two teams. But the Kano Stadium, which will host the match, is under construction due to increasing the capacity from 40 000 to 70 000, with the Nigerian Football Federation having thought the renovation would be complete by March 24. Now the match has been re-scheduled for April 27, with a possible return match on in South Africa on May 4. - Full Story via Kickoff

The South African Football Association together with partners SASOL launched the 2014 edition of the Sasol Women’s League. SASOL together with SAFA have undertaken to plough huge resources into women's football and in the process use the sport as a tool to empower and develop young women. In the past years, the partnership between SASOL and SAFA has witnessed massive growth in women football which culminated in Banyana Banyana qualifying for the London Olympics. - Full Story via PSL

SA players abroad:
Siyanda Xulu made a first appearance for Russian Premier League side FC Rostov in five months on Sunday when he came on as a second-half substitute in a 2-1 win at Rubin Kazan. It will be a relief for the former Mamelodi Sundowns centre-back to get some game-time after a frustrating spell on the bench.
Thulani Serero’s march towards the Dutch league title continued as he played for Ajax Amsterdam in their 3-0 win over FC Twente that leaves them with an eight point lead at the top of the table and five matches left to play.
Kamohelo Mokotjo played for PEC Zwolle in their 1-1 draw at ADO Den Haag.
Ayanda Nkili got his Swedish season off to a positive start with a 2-1 win for newly-promoted top-flight side Orebro over Halmstad. Nkili played the full game.
Mark Mayambela’s match for Djurgarden against Helsingborg was abandoned after 34 minutes due to crowd trouble.
Kagisho Dikgacoi achieved one of his best results since moving from Lamontville Golden Arrows to England in 2009 when he helped Crystal Palace to a deserved 1-0 win over English Premiership leaders Chelsea. The victory leaves Palace five points above the relegation zone and was their first in six matches.
Tokelo Rantie was a second half substitute as Bournemouth’s unlikely march towards the promotion playoffs in the English Championship continued with a 4-2 win at Birmingham City.
Dean Furman also came off the bench to help Doncaster to a vital 2-1 win at fellow Yorkshire side Leeds United.
Andile Jali was back in the starting line-up for Belgian side Oostende after receiving his work permit and helped his side to a 1-0 win at Gent.
Darren Keet’s Kortrijk made a fine start in the other pool as he helped them to a 4-0 home win over Cercle Brugge.
Ayanda Patosi’s Lokeren came back down to earth with a bump following their Belgian Cup final victory the previous weekend when they were humbled 5-1 by Club Brugge in their championship playoff game on Friday. Patosi made his first start for the club since Boxing Day.
Anele Ngcongca started for Genk as they lost 3-0 at home to Zulte-Waregem, their poor form showing no sign of abating.
In the second tier, Phakase Mngadi’s Eupen were disappointingly held 0-0 at bottom side Vise after ending the game with nine men. That saw them slip to second in the league.
Ricardo Nunes played for Bulgarian side Levski Sofia as they were 2-0 winners at Lokomotiv Plovdiv to move up to fourth, while Daylon Claasen came off the bench for Lech Poznan in their 1-0 loss to Polish league leaders Legia Warszawa.
Lebogang Phiri played for Danish side Brondby in their 1-0 win at Viborg, while Sergio Marakis was a second half substitute for Maritimo on the Portuguese top-flight as they drew 1-1 at Gil Vicente.