Local News - Issue 206

Mosimane And Modise Take Q4 Awards
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane and midfielder Teko Modise have been recognised as the best performers in Quarter Four. 'Jingles' and 'The Navigator' were voted as the Best Coach and Player respectively as their club closes in on a first League title since 2007. Mosimane said on receiving his prize on Monday: "We are humbled to be here. I would like to thank the media for voting for me. "On behalf of the technical team we appreciate the award."We worked very hard but for me the big fish is winning the Absa Premiership trophy." The Brazilians, who can claim Premiership honours if they beat SuperSport United tomorrow, won all five of their matches in Quarter Four. - Full Story via Kickoff

Ajax Cape Town have taken Kenya international Kevin Omondi on trial as the club looks to rebuild for next season. The Gor Mahia star arrived at Ikamva last week and has been working under the watchful eye of coach Roger de Sa. The 23-year-old is actually attached to the Nairobi-based FISI Academy, but has been on loan at top Premier League side Gor Mahia since 2012. Omondi is a winger and comes to Ajax as De Sa bemoans a lack of width in his side, stating that he was looking for players on both the right and left side of midfield for next season. Omondi won the Kenya Premier League with Gor Mahia in 2013 and was also in the Kenya side that lost 2-0 to Bafana Bafana in a friendly in 2011. - Full Story via Kickoff

Former Orlando Pirates, Bush Bucks and Moroka Swallows coach Viktor Bondarenko has expressed his interest to join Chippa United. The Chilli Boys are back in the top-flight after winning the First Division title with Vladislav Heric in charge. Still, that has not stopped the likes of Owen da Gama, Muhsin Ertugral and Bondarenko being linked with a role at Chippa, who may yet be relocating to Port Elizabeth. ‘Bondas’ is the first to publically express an interest, saying: “I am ready for the challenge. I am waiting on Chippa.” - Full Story via Kickoff

Bloemfontein Celtic midfielder Keagan Buchanan is expecting to make his return from injury in January next year. The 23-year-old tore his anterior cruciate ligament (knee) in a Nedbank Cup loss to Bidvest Wits on 13 April. - Full Story via Kickoff

Mamelodi Sundowns player Punch Masenamela was involved in his own faked kidnapping, the Hawks said on Sunday. The elite police unit's spokeman Paul Ramaloko said that last weekend, the SA Football Association and Masenamela's wife had reported that the defender had been kidnapped and a ransom of five million rand demanded. “We immediately pursued it,” said Ramaloko. “We used our technological cellphone tracking device to trace his location.” Ramaloko said the soccer player was found at a hotel on the East Rand. “It didn't appear to us that he was kidnapped... He was safe.” Ramaloko said that Masenamela would not be charged in this case because he had not been the one to report the incident to the police. - Full Story via Independent Online

Chippa United owner Chippa Mpengesi has confirmed that he is in talks with the Eastern Cape government about moving the club to Port Elizabeth. The Chilli Boys were handed the trophy on Sunday after winning the National First Division. A lot of that success had to do with their good record at Philippi Stadium, but a change could now be on the cards. “For now I can confirm with you that there are talks with Port Elizabeth,” Mpengesi said. “I have sentiments about Cape Town; it’s where I started everything with a big investment in Philippi Stadium, but what has been offered is playing with my emotions. So one has to make a decision, which I will soon do”. Mpengesi added: “The proposal that’s made to us is a permanent move or no move. - Full Story via Kickoff

Orlando Pirates' march into the Nedbank Cup Final over the weekend saw them become the first side to reach four cup finals in a season since the PSL's inception in 1996. Pirates, who beat Maritzburg United 2-1 on Saturday, previously stumbled at the last hurdle of the CAF Champions League, the Telkom Knockout and the MTN8. They will therefore be desperate to claim gold when they end their marathon campaign against Bidvest Wits in the Nedbank Cup Final. - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Josta Dladla could find himself without a salary after next month if the issue of his suspension following the use of a banned substance remains unresolved. Dladla tested positive for Methylhexaneamine following the Soweto Derby on October 26, and last kicked a ball in December against AmaZulu. He was provisionally suspended pending legal proceedings, but the case has dragged on with seemingly no end in sight. Dladla’s contract is set to expire at the end of next month, but Chiefs’ football manager Bobby Motaung said they have not yet dealt with the issue regarding a new deal because of the pending case. - Full Story via Kickoff

The PSL have announced that Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban will be the venue for the Nedbank Cup Final, taking place between Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits on 17 May. The match falls on a Saturday and will kick-off at 15h00. League CEO Brand de Villiers said in a statement: "Firstly, I would like to congratulate both Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates for reaching the 2013/14 Nedbank Cup Final. A number of venues were on the table to host the 2013/14 Nedbank Cup Final and, following long deliberations and consultation with all the relevant stakeholders we decided on Moses Mabhida. "We are planning a spectacular event on 17 May 2014 and we urge football fans to purchase their tickets early.” Tickets are selling at R60 and are available from Computicket and Shoprite Checkers. - Full Story via Kickoff

Platinum Stars are keen to rope in Maritzburg United midfielder Kurt Lentjies when his contract at the club runs out at the end of the season. Dikwena have been looking to bolster their midfield following advances from Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns for the signatures of Mogakolodi Ngele and Lindokuhle Mbatha respectively. Lentjies, who is also rumoured to be on the radar of AmaZulu, is yet to indicate whether or not he would like to extend his stay with Maritzburg. - Full Story via Kickoff

Ajax Cape Town boss Ari Efstathiou insists in-demand midfielder Keagan Dolly is not for sale. Dolly's impressive displays have caught the attention of Gauteng's glamour clubs, with Kaizer Chiefs rumoured to be showing the most interest in the 21-year-old. Efstathiou, however, maintains the ex-Mamelodi Sundowns man will continue plying his trade at Ikamva next season. "He is not going anywhere, he is not for sale," said Efstathiou. Efstathiou also revealed the fate of on-loan pair Eleazar Rodgers and Thamsanqa Sangweni will be decided at the end of the campaign. Both players belong to Sundowns. "We haven't yet decided if we will want to keep them and we will discuss it at the end of the season." - Full Story via Kickoff

Crystal Palace say they will soon open talks with Kagisho Dikgacoi over a new contract after the Bafana Bafana star played a pivotal role in helping them retain their topflight status. Dikgacoi is out of contract at the end of the season though and media reports in England have linked a host of clubs with a possible free transfer move. Newly-promoted Leicester City, Newcastle United, Hull City, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion are said to be interested, so Dikgacoi could find himself with a number of strong options. There are also unsubstantiated reports that teams in France, Germany and Spain have expressed an interest in his services as well. But remaining at Palace, where he is a regular starter under manager Tony Pulis, looks the most likely outcome. Dikgacoi has made 25 starts in all competitions for Palace this season, mostly in a defensive midfield position, but also on occasion at right-back. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bidvest Wits striker Benjani Mwaruwari says it wouldn't be fair for him to look for another contract when his current deal with the Clever Boys comes to an end in June. The 35-year-old feels that maybe it's time to hang up his boots since the team has been doing well and he hasn't performed to his best this season.  “We haven't talked yet [about new contract] but as things stand now they are not looking good. To be fair, I can't be looking for a new contract. I haven't been performing and football is like that sometimes … you perform and sometimes you don't. I might consider that this could be my last season playing”. - Full Story via Kickoff

SuperSport United are the winners of the SAFA Under-19 Championships after defeating Ajax Cape Town 4-1 on penalties after a goalless score-line. The clash, which closed this entertaining tournament, took place at Clive Solomon Stadium in Heidedal in Bloemfontein. The match, which saw both sides attack each other ferociously, was eventually decided on penalties. Zama Rambuwane, Kwanele Zulu, Simon Nqoi and Themba Ndzimande scored for United, while Curtley Poole found the back of the net for Ajax during penalties. Jason Britz and Justin Jacobus of Ajax had their spot-kicks saved by Keegan Pool, handing United the gold medals. - Full Story via Kickoff

SuperSport United boss Cavin Johnson does not think striker Mame Niang will move to Orlando Pirates during the upcoming transfer window. However, Johnson says that his experiences as a coach have taught him that “anything can happen in football”. Niang – who has been a major force in the Matsatsantsa frontline this season – is on Pirates’ radar with the former league champions looking to build a strong side for the 2014/15 campaign. The Senegal international is already believed to be in negotiations with Bucs, who are also eyeing the signature of Zambian striker Chris Katongo. - Full Story via Kickoff

Moroka Swallows boss Leon Prins insists any talks with potential investors or new players will take a backseat until their top-flight safety is secured. Media reports suggested that Italian investors have approached the Beautiful Birds, but Prins insist there are no talks going on at the moment.
Moroka Swallows are in talks to sign Rowen Fernandez. The veteran goalkeeper, who has 23 Bafana Bafana caps to his name, will leave SuperSport United when his contract expires at the end of the season. A source close to Fernandez confirms that a few clubs have shown an interest, and that Swallows are one of the teams who have been very active in their interest. The 36-year-old has found game-time at SuperSport increasingly hard to come by following the emergence of Ronwen Williams. - Full Story via Kickoff

Amajita midfielder Nhlakanipho Ntuli has signed a deal with Dutch Eredivisie side FC Twente. Ntuli's agent Mike Makaab met with Twente officials in Holland where the deal was finalized. The midfielder will join Twente’s reserve side at the start of next season before being promoted to the first team. Orlando Pirates’ Head of Development, Augasto Palacious, congratulates Ntuli on his new contract in Europe. "I am very happy for him. He is a product of our development and I went with him to Holland for his trials," Palacious said. "He is the first player from Pirates’ development to sign a professional contract in Europe. We are proud of him. He has always had the ability and potential to succeed in Europe," he added. - Full Story via Kickoff

SA Players Abroad:
Unheralded South African Tiyiselani Shipalane netted his first goal of the season for USA second-tier side Carolina Railhawks as they defeated Jomo Sono’s old club New York Cosmos 1-0.
Sergio Marakis was in the starting line-up for Portuguese side Maritimo as they held Sporting Braga to a 1-1 draw. The Johannesburg-born midfielder has seen more game-time in the second half of the campaign and has 10 appearances in all.
May Mahlangu continued his comeback from injury by playing the second half for Swedish side Goteborg as they were held 0-0 by Elfsborg, but Mark Mayambela (Djurgardens) and Ayanda Nkili (Orebro) both missed out for their sides with knocks.
Lebogang Phiri played the final 15 minutes for Brondby as they drew 1-1 at FC Copenhagen to tighten their grip on fourth place in the Danish League, enough for UEFA Europa League football.
And promotion is still on the cards for Ntuthuko Radebe and Phakase Mngadi as their Belgian second-tier side Eupen beat St Truiden 3-2 in the first leg of their playoff tie. Radebe played, Mngadi did not.
Meanwhile, Bafana Bafana midfielder Dean Furman was relegated with his English Championship side Doncaster Rovers in the cruellest of fashions on Saturday. Furman started as Rovers lost 1-0 at already-promoted Leicester City, but they were still okay as long as Birmingham City didn’t get a point at Bolton Wanderers. Birmingham trailed 2-0 deep into the game, but then netted an equaliser in the fourth minute of injury-time to send Furman tumbling into the English third-tier.
Tokelo Rantie and Andrew Surman both started for Bournemouth as they lost 1-0 at Millwall, an academic result for them as they finished outside the promotion playoff places in 10th. It remains the best ever league position in the 124-year history of Bournemouth.
Kgosi Ntlhe was missing for Peterborough United as they were held 0-0 by Port Vale, having already secured sixth place. It has now been confirmed that they will take on Leyton Orient in the promotion play-off semi-finals.
Andile Jali started for Oostende again as they defeated Waasland-Beveren 1-0 to go through the UEFA Europa League play-offs group stage unbeaten and having conceded just a single goal in their six matches. They will be favourites in the play-off 2 final when they take on Darren Keet’s Kortrijk over two legs, though the Bafana Bafana goalkeeper will be absent after recent shoulder surgery. Whoever advances through that stage will take on the fourth-placed side in the Championship play-offs for a place in European competition next campaign in the complicated post-season play-offs in Belgium. The prospect of Europa League football next season for Jali will be another great footballing education for the former Orlando Pirates midfielder.
Genk’s hopes of reaching the Europa League next season are gone after they lost 2-1 to Lokeren, with Anele Ngcongca starting for Genk and Ayanda Patosi an unused substitute for their opponents. Lokeren have already qualified after winning the Belgian Cup last month.
Thulani Serero started for Ajax Amsterdam as they closed their championship season with a 2-2 home draw against NEC. The result meant their opponents maintained their top-flight status for next season. Serero laid on his side’s second goal for Spanish international Bojan.
Kamohelo Mokotjo started and Dean Patricio was an unused substitute as PEC Zwolle drew 2-2 at FC Twente, the new home of Orlando Pirates youngster Nhlakanipho Ntuli.
Keegan Ritchie (Slavia Prague) and Siyanda Xulu (FC Rostov) both missed their club’s weekend fixtures through injury.