Local News - Issue 212




Queiroz, Keshi And Carlos Amongst High Profile Applicants For Bafana Job

SAFA president Danny Jordaan has confirmed the names of some of the people who have applied for the vacant Bafana Bafana job. The national team need a new head coach after SAFA decided against renewing Gordon Igesund’s contract, and Jordaan told EWN Sport that they have already received 14 applications from some high-profile names. “We have a list of 14 coaches with huge experience, including Carlos Queiroz, Stephen Keshi, Giovanni Trapattoni and Dick Advocaat,” Jordaan told EWN Sport. “We also have younger coaches also indicating their interest, like Patrick Kluivert, Roberto Carlos and Fabio Cannavaro.” Others in the mix include former Zambia boss Herve Renard and national Under-20 coach Shakes Mashaba.

Carlos Queiroz’s return to the Bafana Bafana job got a whole lot more realistic after the coach announced his resignation from the Iran national team. The 61-year-old is the hot favourite to replace Gordon Igesund, whose contract with the national team was not renewed, and it’s believed he already had talks with SAFA back in May, when Iran were in South Africa for a training camp. Queiroz told Portuguese newspaper Publico that financial restrictions have led to his decision. “Yes, my connection will finish here at the World Cup. There was no support from the government; there has stopped being a genuine interest because of the financial situation. The dialogue has been cut off and I have already decided not to stay.” Queiroz also suggested that coaching a club side is out of the question. “I’ve had an offer to stay in Brazil and in England, but because of circumstances in my private life it is difficult for me to accept a position at a club.”

Josta Dladla is still in talks with Kaizer Chiefs over a new contract with his current deal set to expire in just over a week. The Chiefs players returned for pre-season last Friday but the future of the utility player remains unclear. “There is obviously a lot of interest in Josta but all I can say for now is that we are engaged with Chiefs over him and we must wait to see what they want to do,” the player’s agent Steve Kapeluschnik said. Dladla, who turns 35 next month, has not played for Amakhosi since starting in the 4-1 victory over AmaZulu last December. He was banned for four months earlier this year after pleading guilty to the use of the banned substance Methylhexaneamine, though he maintains it was in error, with his sentence expiring in May. He is keen to keep playing and would prefer to remain at Chiefs, where he has been used either on the right side of midfield or at right-back under coach Stuart Baxter.

Bidvest Wits, Bloemfontein Celtic, Mpumalanga Black Aces and AmaZulu will sharpen their pre-season preparations by competing in the inaugural Charity Showdown at Bidvest Stadium on 19 July. Money raised from the one-day event will be donated to The Lunchbox Fund, a nationwide charity that feeds impoverished schoolchildren. The first semi-final kicks off at 09:30; the next game is at 12:00 and the final at 16:00. The day will also be packed with family activities. These include a Family Fun Zone complete with a food market, a kiddies area with child minders, jumping castles, face painters and clowns. There will also be a beer garden, VIP hospitality as well as a Showdown Concert featuring some of South Africa’s top selling bands. Families will also get a chance to win OpenView HD decoders throughout the day, as well as meet some of e.tv’s personalities.

Kaizer Chiefs have concluded their second deal of the off-season after signing Moroka Swallows defender Levy Mokgothu. It is understood that Mamelodi Sundowns were also keen on the 24-year-old but he opted for Chiefs, who had been expected to announce their new signings this week.

Former Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United defender Lucas Thwala still hopes to continue with his career, despite a nagging ankle concern that has kept him out of football for over a year. Thwala underwent what appeared standard ankle surgery in February last year after picking up the injury in a reserve league game against Mamelodi Sundowns while still on the books of SuperSport United. Sixteen months later, Thwala is still battling. “I am still struggling with this ankle,” he said. “The doctors have said they see nothing wrong because the machines don’t indicate anything. What happens is that I can come back and play for a couple of days and then I am back to square one again because the pain and discomfort will have resurfaced again. Though I am in this situation, I still haven’t lost hope and I am still going to the gym to keep fit. When the ankle is giving me some kind of discomfort I work out on the upper body and when I am fine I also do leg workouts. I am still holding hope of playing again,” said Thwala, who has 26 Bafana Bafana caps to his name won during his time at Pirates.

George Maluleka hopes to keep his spot in the Kaizer Chiefs team for the Carling Black Label Cup against Orlando Pirates on July 26. As voting stands, the former Ajax Cape Town midfielder is in the starting XI for the match at Soccer City, and he says the vote of confidence from the fans is a good feeling. “I am encouraged by the vote counts,” he said. “Obviously the voting count makes a player feel good, but it doesn’t reflect badly on the other players. It is positive for me and definitely I am looking forward to the Derby. Any Derby game is good for football. The players and supporters alike can’t wait.”

Ajax Cape Town coach Roger de Sa has urged the PSL leadership to consider implementing goalline technology in local football. De Sa feels the move would go a long way in assisting referees to make correct, accurate decisions that avoid controversy. “I think it [goalline technology] will be effective in improving our officiating,” De Sa said. Goalline technology is being used in the ongoing World Cup by Fifa for the very first time. GoalControl – the official provider of the system – says the technology is 100 percent accurate and cannot be manipulated or hacked. At each of the 12 World Cup stadiums, there are 14 high-speed cameras to determine if the ball has crossed the line or not. Seven of these cameras are programmed to take 500 pictures per second and will send a message to the referee’s watch indicating that the ball has crossed the line. De Sa says goalline technology erases the possibility of human error whenever officials are faced with tricky decisions. The PSL had previously stated that it would start implementing the technology when given the go-ahead by Safa.

Mpumalanga Black Aces newcomer Thanduyise Khuboni is relishing the opportunity to work under legendary South African coach Clive Barker. Khuboni, 28, sealed a move to Aces - along with Mzivukile Tom - from Golden Arrows. “I’m very much happy to have joined a team of Aces’ calibre,” Khuboni said. “They have a wonderful and legendary coach in Clive Barker and their ambitions as a team appealed to my future plans. It’s a totally new chapter in my life and certainly a challenging one. I wish my former team Arrows everything of the best in the NFD. Had it not been for them, I would not have come this far as a player,” concluded the ex-Bafana Bafana midfielder.

Matthew Booth says he decided to hang up his boots because he wanted to finish on a high. The 37-year-old defender called time on his 20-year career today after one season with Bidvest Wits, where he made 19 League appearances and scored one goal. “I felt I had a good season at Wits, but I did spend more time on the bench then I wanted too and I didn’t want to accept the one-year extension and sit on the bench,” he said. “I wanted to go out having contributed to the team, so I thought this was the time to end and not have a poor season and not contribute anymore.” Booth says he already has a lot lined up for a life after football. I have already started a clinic for my trust where I’m involving ex-footballers. I’m also going to do TV work for the SABC during the World Cup, and I have registered at UNISA (University of South Africa) to study BA. It’s important for me to give back to the football community after they supported me for so many years.” Booth made his debut in 1996 with Cape Town Spurs. After a spell at Sundowns he went to England, before a lengthy stint in Russia. He returned to Sundowns and also played for Ajax Cape Town.

Moroka Swallows defender Roger da Costa has completed a move to Mpumalanga Black Aces. Da Costa – who in May confirmed he is leaving Swallows – confirms that he is headed to Aces. “We will complete everything tomorrow but I have agreed terms,” Da Costa told this website.

Maritzburg United have confirmed Steve Komphela will coach the side in the new campaign, and have expressed confidence he remains committed to their cause. Komphela looked set to join Premiership returnees Chippa United in the off-season before they went with Kosta Papic, while the former Free State Stars boss was also linked to a role with SAFA. However, Komphela is staying put, according to Team of Choice spokesman Brian Zuma. “I am sure that Maritzburg United supporters and fans will be elated to the news that come start of the new season, Steve Komphela will be seen on the Maritzburg United bench shouting instructions to his players as head coach of the club,” Zuma told United’s website. After a lot of speculation and rumours in the media, the meeting between the chairman and the coach yielded the much desired results to see Steve remain in the city of choice to continue with the good work that saw Maritzburg United finish last season on a respectable 10th position.  The coach has assured the chairman of his commitment to his contract with the club. After the meeting, he immediately called a meeting with the players and the pre-season preparations effectively commenced.”

Jabu Mahlangu is close to signing a new deal that will see him extending his stay with SuperSport United. ‘Shuffle’, as the midfielder is affectionately known, was brought to the club on a three-month agreement which ran out at the end of last season. In that brief spell, the former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates man seems to have revived his football career – at least enough to convince the SuperSport management to continue with him for the upcoming campaign. Sources at the club have stated that Mahlangu is likely to be offered a new one-year contract. However, Matsatsantsa coach Cavin Johnson preferred not to go into details about the discussions.  Before joining SuperSport, Mahlangu – who has 20 Bafana Bafana caps – last played topflight football in 2009 with Platinum Stars. Mahlangu’s return to the PSL was a success story for a player who had been written off owing to some challenges he was going through in his personal life.

Veteran striker Henrico Botes has declared that he will remain in the PSL following his surprise release by Platinum Stars following seven years of service to the club. Stars have decided against exercising a one-year option on Botes’s contract, which expires at the end of the month. “I am moving to another club in the PSL and all I am just hoping for is to be still able to play against them (Platinum Stars),” said Botes, who has been linked with a move to Gauteng. “With regards to the clubs that I have been talking to we are now just negotiating the finer details.” The Namibian forward insists he had no differences with club coach Allan Freese and “wasn’t really shocked” to be told he is no longer in the plans. “In the end it is all part of football and I am not bitter because I will still be playing football again in a different jersey,” said Botes.

Bonginkosi Ntuli says that he will be joining Mamelodi Sundowns, and that the only thing holding up the move is Golden Arrows boss Mato Madlala being in Brazil. The young striker is one of the hottest properties around, with both the Brazilians and Orlando Pirates reportedly chasing his signature. But Ntuli insists only Sundowns have made official contact and that a move to Chloorkop is imminent. “The problem is because my boss, Mato Madlala, is away in Brazil for the World Cup and Sundowns are waiting for her to come back and then the move will be finalized,” he said. “There is only one team that has had talks and that is Mamelodi Sundowns. They have agreed terms and what is left is talks with my boss about how much the clubs agreed upon.” Asked if he is worry about a lack of game-time, Ntuli responds: “The coaches there have promised me that I will play a lot and that I will get what I want.”

Lerato Manzini will don SuperSport United colours in the coming season after completing a loan move from Bloemfontein Celtic. The move forms part of the deal which saw Bevan Fransman sign for Celtic as a replacement for Clayton Daniels, who signed a pre-contract with SuperSport. Celtic coach Ernst Middendorp explains that Manzini is not in his plans for the season. “To be honest, I feel that Manzini has fallen behind strikers like Trevor Lamola, Joel Mogorosi and Ghabadinho Mhango for a starting berth position,” he told the club’s official website. “Manzini is a big, physical striker and his style is a bit different to the one I foresee Celtic playing with this season.”

Moroka Swallows say they will not be taking Gordon Igesund back and that they are happy with Zeca Marques. Igesund led a struggling Moroka Swallows to safety when relegation was looming large, and then took them all the way to a second-placed finish before he was appointed Bafana Bafana coach in 2012. Marques took over from Igesund and won the MTN8, but since then has struggled and the Birds only just escaped the drop this past season. Igesund is available after SAFA decided not to renew his contract, but Swallows boss Leon Prins says they are sticking with Marques.

Mamelodi Sundowns striker Edward Manqele has been assured he will be given a chance to prove his worth at Chloorkop this season following a loan spell at Moroka Swallows.  Manqele, who netted eight goals for Swallows last term, was repeatedly linked with a move to Kaizer Chiefs a while back. However, the ex-Free State Stars man now looks ready to fight for his position at Downs after meeting with head coach Pitso Mosimane.

Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis says he is very disappointed to lose Kagisho Dikgacoi, adding that Cardiff City have got themselves a ‘good player’. The Bafana Bafana midfielder passed up the offer of a new contract at Selhurst Park in favour of a drop in divisions with City, who were relegated from the Premier League in the 2013/14 season. Dikgacoi was a key player for Palace last season as they shrugged off a horror start to ease to safety, but Pulis says the offer was too good for the 29-year-old to turn down. “He is one of those players in the right situation can certainly do the job,” Pulis is quoted by the BBC. “I’m disappointed, but can understand that [it’s] a long contract and a very well paid contract. Cardiff have made him a fantastic offer. There’s obviously tremendous potential there and he’ll be desperate to get back into the Premiership. “Physically he’s a powerhouse and he’s got all the attributes to do very well for them. If they get him fit and keep him fit he’ll be a good player.”   Dikgacoi signed a three-year contract with the Bluebirds and will now link up with former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who took over as manager at the start of the year.

Santos have parted ways with former Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows striker David Radebe. Radebe, 34, joined the People’s Team on a short-term contract after Thanda Royal Zulu released him in February.

Veteran midfielder Delron Buckley has dismissed suggestions he is considering retirement as he maintains his search for a club in the PSL. Buckley, who spent 14 years plying his trade abroad, was deemed surplus to requirements by Maritzburg United towards the end of this past season. “No, I’m not retiring, no, no. My contract is running up at Maritzburg so I will have to wait and see how it goes you know, which club is interested,” Buckley said. “Definitely I want to play in the PSL because I have been here back in the country for the past two years, so I want to stay here. At the moment there is no club that has spoken to me or contacted me. Also, I don’t have an agent but with that said, I will wait and see what happens. But to say I’m retiring, that is not the case.” The 36-year-old has enjoyed a fine career, making 73 appearances for Bafana Bafana, while gaining Bundesliga experience with VfL Bochum, Arminia Bielefeld and Borussia Dortmund.

Kaizer Chiefs Legends will take on Manchester United Legends on November 15 this year, it has been announced. Following on from the huge success of the Liverpool Legends tour to South Africa in 2013, another giant of the English game will be heading to Mzansi later in the year to showcase their greatest talents from seasons gone by to local fans. In what is to become an annual event, the Legends Live Tour 2014 will feature a team of former Manchester United players who are set to take on their Kaizer Chiefs counterparts in a match that promises to grab the attention of the entire country. The Kaizer Chiefs Legends side will feature the likes of Brian Baloyi, Lucas Radebe, Neil Tovey, Shoes Moshoeu, Doctor Khumalo, Shane MacGregor, Fani Madida and Donald Khuse. The Manchester United Legends side will be made up of household names including South Africa’s very own Quinton Fortune, Bryan Robson, Andy Cole, Ronny Johnsen, Dennis Irwin, Clayton Blackmore, Jesper Blomqvist, Louis Saha, Raimond van der Gouw and Lee Sharpe. More details, including the venue for the match, will be communicated at a later stage.

Benson Mhlongo has signed a two-year deal with Polokwane City. Mhlongo had a big presence for Stars over the past two seasons, helping them claim MTN8 and Telkom Knockout honours in 2013/14. However, Dikwena decided against renewing the 33-year-old defender’s contract which was expiring at the end of the month. Mhlongo, who earned 37 Bafana Bafana caps, was previously on the books of Premiership giants Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates.

The South African Football Associations (Safa) is to receive an R8-million bonus from Fifa due to the good financial performance of the organisation in the last financial cycle up to the 2014 World Cup. The announcement was made by Fifa at their congress in Rio de Janeiro and although a ‘bonus’ of some sort had been expected, Fifa put a number to it on Wednesday. Safa, along with the 208 other member associations, will each receive R2.7-million immediately and a further R5.4-million in January after Fifa laid out the financial health of the organisation and said they had exceeded revenue targets in the last fiscal. Furthermore, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will receive R75-million in additional funding from Fifa. Fifa finance chairman Julio Grondona said the organisation generated a surplus of more than R770-million in the last fiscal and has reserves of R15-billion, more than 20 times what it held two decades ago.

The PSL have suspended League action for two weeks to accommodate the 2014 COSAFA Cup that will be staged in Botswana from September 13-28. The MTN8 Final will be played on September 20, but aside from players from the two teams involved in that clash, the new Bafana Bafana coach will be able to select players from the rest of the clubs, giving South Africa an opportunity to field their strongest squad in years. The tournament falls outside of the FIFA calendar, meaning clubs are not obliged to release players, but having made a special window of opportunity for them to do so, it is likely that most will.  This is especially important for the national team as the COSAFA Cup falls between the second and third rounds of qualifying for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.  It will give the coaches of the respective COSAFA nations additional time to work with their home-based players at least.

Platinum Stars and AmaZulu are among the teams vying for the signature of Maritzburg United midfielder Kurt Lentjies. The former Mamelodi Sundowns player will be free agent at the end of the month, and he will have no shortage of potential suitors. A source close to the player revealed Stars and Usuthu are favourites. “Both clubs want to sign the player and they have both approached the player for negotiations,” the source said.

Imposing striker Siphelele Mthembu is set to pen a three-year deal with Kaizer Chiefs. Mthembu, whose contract with Platinum Stars expires at the end of the month, has agreed terms with Amakhosi.

First Division franchise Sivutsa Stars has been renamed Royal Eagles FC, with former Santos coach David Bright taking over as the new head coach. These changes follow the club’s acquisition by Durban-based millionaire couple Sibusiso and Shauwn Mpisane. Eagles – who have already relocated to Durban – will play their home matches on Friday nights at King Zwelithini Stadium, with Sugar Ray Zulu Stadium as the alternative home ground, and will adopt black with gold stripes colours as their home kit. Former United FC official Richard Makhoba has been appointed as the general manager of the ambitious club, which will have another ex-Santos man, David Notoane, standing in as assistant to Bright along with Jomo Ntuli on a technical team that will also have Professor Ngubane as technical advisor. The team has already started preliminary preparations and have been training in Cato Manor in the meantime with the intention of then moving to the Moses Mabhida Stadium outer fields.

Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Elrio van Heerden is only 30, but it appears as though his career is over. Even his business manager Rob Moore admitted he is unsure of the player’s whereabouts, having lost contact with him some time ago. It is a sad end for a player who at one stage was tipped to carry Bafana’s hopes at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but who faded badly into obscurity when he should have been in his prime. A product of the UPE-FCK Academy, Van Heerden’s crowning glory in a national team jersey was at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, where he was outstanding and gave a glimpse as to his rich potential. He enjoyed successful stints abroad with FC Copenhagen in Denmark and Club Brugge in Belgium, and was also on the books of then English Premiership side Blackburn Rovers, though he did not play a first team game. His last appearance as a professional came in May 2012 while on the books of Golden Arrows. He tried to return to Belgium the following season but found no takers, while he also had unsuccessful trials at Major League Soccer side Kansas City in November of the that year. Van Heerden won 38 caps for Bafana, scoring three goals, one in a famous win against Mexico at the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup and two belters at the 2008 Nations Cup. His last international appearance was in November 2009 in a 0-0 draw against Jamaica. He was the first player to ever appear for Bafana without having played a full match of first team club soccer … his only experience in the professional ranks prior to his international debut was four minutes as a late substitute for Danish champions FC Copenhagen against Aalborg in May 2004, where he scored soon after coming on.

Moroka Swallows have completed the signing of former Bloemfontein Celtic defender Tsietsi Mahoa. The 31-year-old linked up with his teammates on Wednesday when The Birds resumed pre-season training at their new grounds in Bedfordview. Mahoa has penned a two-year deal.

Swallows – who also had fellow fresh signings Philani Cele and Lucky Baloyi at training yesterday – have also welcomed several foreign trialists from Europe.

Mamelodi Sundowns have continued their big spending ways by snapping up Maritzburg United duo Mario Booysen and Rheece Evans on five-year deals. The Brazilians have been busy in the transfer market as they prepare their Absa Premiership title and launch an attack on the CAF Champions League. Both players have signed five-year contracts, with Evans delighted with the challenge ahead. “Joining a club of Mamelodi Sundowns’ calibre will take my game to the next level and I’m very excited to be here. I hope for a successful stay and looking forward to the challenge,” he told the club’s official website. Sundowns have already added Lindokuhle Mbatha, Luyolo Nomandela and Asavela Mbekile to their roster.

Dillon Sheppard could complete his move to Bidvest Wits “in the next couple of days”, according to the midfielder’s manager Glyn Binkin. Sheppard, who met with Wits officials this week, is a free agent after being released by Maritzburg United towards the end of last season.

Mpumalanga Black Aces have announced Collins Mbesuma will report to the club on Monday for a final assessment by coach Clive Barker. The Zambian striker is seeking employment for the new season after being deemed surplus to requirements at Orlando Pirates. Aces, who have been active in the transfer market of late, posted a message on their Twitter feed, which read: “Collins Mbesuma will join Aces on Monday for a final assessment by Clive Barker (who also returns on Mon following knee surgery).” Mbesuma netted one goal for Pirates in three appearances last term.

Bafana Bafana midfielder Daylon Claasen has joined German Bundesliga 2 club TSV 1860 Munich. The 24-year-old spent last season at Polish club Lech Poznan, where he was on a short-term contract which expired in June. Claasen has now signed a three-year deal, and Munich sporting director Gerhard Poschner is very excited by the acquisition.“Daylon is a win for us,” he said. “He is fast, strong and technically very versatile.” Claasen is also happy with the move, saying: “1860 is an ambitious club. I look forward to my new challenge because I’ve always followed the German league and now I have the chance to play here.” Claasen started his career at Ajax Cape Town before leaving for Ajax Amsterdam, where he found opportunities limited. He then spent three season at Lierse in Belgium before the stint in Poland.

Rowen Fernandez will start training with Mpumalanga Black Aces on Monday as he works his way towards finding a new home after SuperSport United decided against renewing his contract. Fernandez’s contract with SuperSport expires at the end of the month and the Tshwane outfit has already informed him that they will not be retaining him forcing him to look elsewhere. It has been confirmed that the former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper will be at Aces when the club reports back for pre-season on Monday. Though Fernandez starts training on Monday there haven’t been any talks over a contract just as yet with AmaZayoni out to make an assessment first before making any decision. Clive Barker’s side will start off preparations for the new season minus keeper Jackson Mabokgwane, who has returned to parent club Bidvest Wits after spending the second half of last term with Aces.

Mpumalanga Black Aces were the busiest team at the start of the 2013/14 season, and it seems they are showing no signs of slowing down. AmaZayoni had even more transfer dealings than Mamelodi Sundowns, and they have already started their preparations for 2014/15. Talk is that the Brazilians will allow Themba Zwane – who shone on loan at Aces last season – to return for a second spell. Another player set to arrive at Aces is Sibusiso Zuma. The former Bafana Bafana forward is currently without a club after SuperSport United decided against renewing his contract. He had been linked with a switch to University of Pretoria, but will now join Aces training on Thursday, along with Rowen Fernandez. Players that might leave include Clifford Mulenga and Innocent Mdledle, who have yet to report for pre-season training. Aces have already signed Thanduyise Khuboni and Mzuvukile Tom from Golden Arrows, while defender Roger da Costa has joined from Moroka Swallows.