Local News - Issue 215

Aces Sign Mbesuma
Former Orlando Pirates striker Collins Mbesuma has signed a two-year contract with Mpumalanga Black Aces. The Zambian penned the deal on Friday after impressing on a short training stint with the club following his release from Bucs in the off-season. AmaZayoni boss Mario Morfou says they are expecting "big things" of Mbesuma, who plundered 35 goals for Kaizer Chiefs in 2004/05.

Raymond Monama and Thamsanqa Sangweni look set to leave Mamelodi Sundowns as both players are deemed surplus to requirements. Sangweni joined Sundowns from AmaZulu at the beginning of the 2012/13 season and spent last term on loan at Ajax Cape Town. While Monama, who joined from Black Leopards, spent six months on loan at University of Pretoria after playing only seven minutes for Sundowns. More players are likely to leave Chloorkop when the team returns from a pre-season camp in Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, Nigerian international Ezoenyi Ejike arrives at Downs after getting a special holiday due to being at the Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

Former Maritzburg United and Orlando Pirates defender Robyn Johannes is training with Amazulu in the hope of getting a contract. The 27-year-old was released by Maritzburg United and trained with Bidvest Wits for a while, but failed to make an impression.

Kaizer Chiefs have marked 22 July as the date they will announce their squad for the 2014/15 season. Amakhosi, who have already unveiled the new Nike kit their players will wear during the upcoming campaign, have signed former Platinum Stars striker Siphelele Mthembu. They are also in talks with Mpumalanga Black Aces for the services of midfielder Thabo Qalinge. Defender Jimmy Jambo is widely expected to part ways with Chiefs while the club has also been linked with a swoop for Ajax Cape Town player Keagan Dolly together with Mamelodi Sundowns.

Bloemfontein Celtic have announced the signing of teenage striker Tshepo Chaine on a two-year deal from Black Urbans. The 18-year-old, who hails from Botshabelo, has spent the past two weeks training with Phunya Sele Sele. Chaine told Celtic's official website: “I am very excited to join such a big team as Celtic and am looking forward to making a mark in PSL football. Joining Celtic will serve as a motivation to the local youth.”
Kurt Lentjies will continue his football at Maritzburg United this season, according to the club's operations manager Quintin Jettoo. Lentjies was believed to have courted attention from Platinum Stars and AmaZulu in the off-season, but Jettoo says the midfielder has committed his services to United."Kurt is not leaving," says Jettoo. "He had signed a six-month contract plus an option. We have exercised the option." The 29-year-old Lentjies returned to the Team of Choice in January from SuperSport United. He went on to score four goals, provide as many assists, and earn two penalties for Steve Komphela's side in 2013/14.

Ajax Cape Town coach Roger De Sa has explained why he released Toriq Losper to Bidvest Wits in exchange for Robin Ngalande ahead of the new season. De Sa feels that Ajax were lacking in the striking department as they only scored 27 goals last season, and therefore he recruited Malawian hitman Ngalande at the expense of midfielder Losper. “We lost Losper but we gained Ngalande which is an area we needed, that goal scoring ability and also he’s an international player,” said De Sa. “So I think Losper was a player of ours but I think Ngalande has something we don’t have.” The Urban Warriors are currently in George for a week-long pre-season camp.

Moroka Swallows have confirmed the signing of three European players ahead of the new season. One of the additions is Obren Cuckovic, a 1.93m tall goalkeeper from Serbia. Cuckovic is 31 years old and spent last season at FK Mladost Podgorica, a team from Montenegro. The second player is Vladimir Mandic, a 27-year-old Slovenian mdfielder. Mandic is described as an aggressive, disciplined player with good technique and possesses both offensive and defensive characteristics. However, his previous club is unnamed. The last player to be roped in is central defender Boris Savic, a 26-year-old from Bosnia and Herzegovina. He played for Serbian club FK Rudar last season. The Dube Birds have also signed Kenyan midfielder Kevin Omondi, Lucky Baloyi and Philani Cele.

Attacking midfielders Miguel Timm and Bhongolethu Jayiya have completed their move to Mpumalanga Black Aces from Bidvest Wits. They both penned three-year contracts on Monday. Timm, who was on loan at Aces last season, told the club's website: "I really enjoyed my time at Aces last season and appreciate the opportunity and I must admit I’m delighted to be at Aces. It’s a good team with a great coach and there’s a good bunch of players who on our day can beat anyone in the League." Jayiya added: "I’m excited to join Aces and intend living up to my motto of delivering when it matters most."

Zimbabwe captain Partson Jaure looks set to complete his move to University of Pretoria. Jaure is expected to sign a long-term contract with AmaTuks after travelling to South Africa soon after the Harare derby between his club Dynamos and Caps United at the weekend. His manager Kudzai Shaba confirmed the impending deal as Tuks seek to offset the departure of Bafana Bafana defender Buhle Mkhwanazi to Bidvest Wits.

Platinum Stars are trying their best to hold onto star player Mogakolodi Ngele by offering him a much-improved contract.
The midfielder has been heavily courted by Orlando Pirates, who have already announced the signing of another Dikwena player in Issa Sarr. But a source close to the player says that Ngele might opt to stay after the new deal was presented to him.

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt is looking to sign Old Mutual Academy youngster Rodwell Bezuidenhout. Hunt first invited Bezuidenhout for a trial last year, but the three-time League champion felt the player was not ready to join his roster at that stage. However, Bezuidenhout recently returned to Milpark for a second assessment, and Hunt is impressed with the progress that he has made. “The young boy from Old Mutual Academy, a left-back, and we are going sign him," says Hunt. “We have been watching him for two years now. He came to us last year and we sent him back to play to get his strength up. “He has strengthened up and he’s much stronger this year, better than last year in terms of physicality and he has done well on the camp for us," Hunt added.

Siyabonga Sangweni is back training with Orlando Pirates but the defender is still without a new contract. The 32-year-old had stopped training with the club after the expiry of his contract on June 30, but he returned last week leading to suggestions that his contract situation had been resolved. As it turns out, though, the former Golden Arrows centre-back has not signed on the dotted line yet. “No, I’m waiting for the chairman [Dr Irvin Khoza] to return and I’m hoping to meet him this week to finalise the matter,” said Sangweni’s business manager Mike Makaab.

AmaZulu claimed the KwaZulu-Natal leg of Under-17 Engen Knockout Challenge at the Highbury Sports Grounds in Wentworth after a 1-0 win over Greenwood Park Friends on Sunday. The Usuthu juniors sealed their ticket to the Final after they beat Young Boys Academy, while Friends caused somewhat of an upset when they disposed of Golden Arrows. The fourth leg of the Engen Knockout Challenge takes place in Gauteng from July 18-20.

Former Orlando Pirates striker Takesure Chinyama has gone club hunting in Zimbabwe after being released by Platinum Stars. Chinyama is trying his luck with Bulawayo club Highlanders after failing to secure a place at his former club Dynamos. Highlanders Chief Executive Officer Ndumiso Gumede confirms they are in talks with the striker: “We are looking at where we can fit him, but at the moment nothing concrete has been settled yet.”

Newly crowned Gauteng Sports Personality of the Year Teko Modise says the award has inspired him "to work even harder". The Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder on Friday beat Kaizer Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune to the regional prize, as well as cricketer Faf du Plessis and athlete Mapasaka Makhanya.  Modise told his club's website: “I would really like to thank all the people that voted for me from the bottom of my heart, the Sundowns technical team and my teammates. This award really inspires me to work even harder because at least I know that there are people who take note when you do good. “I have won awards before and they are all special but this one here has a special place in my heart because it’s from the people that we do all this for.” Modise played a key role in Downs' Premiership triumph last season.

Platinum Stars have signed a Lucky Nguzana on a two-year deal. The 23-year-old confirmed saying: “Yes, I have signed a two-year deal with Platinum Stars. “Obviously I’m happy and I hope this two years will be fruitful ones. I’ll give everything on the field and I’m grateful to Dikwena for trusting my abilities. I have what it takes and, given the time, I will prove it to them.”Nguzana refused to be drawn on what happened at AmaZulu, where he was supposed to have signed a longer deal after spending six months at the club.

Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Lucky Khune has re-surfaced at Royal Eagles hoping to get a contract with the Durban-based side. Khune is currently clubless after parting ways with United FC at the end of last season. Should the 24 year-old be signed he will join former Amakhosi striker Justice Sithole, who is also part of the team. In other club news, former Free State Stars midfielder Duncan Lechesa is the new coach at Eagles replacing David Bright. Lechesa will be assisted by Jomo Ntuli and David Notoane while John Tlale remains goalkeeper coach.

Former Royal Eagles boss David Bright is in talks with FC Cape Town, who have been without a coach since David Lechesa left the club at the end of last season. Bright was dumped by Eagles at the start of the month, just a few weeks after taking charge of the Durban-based side. However, the ex-Santos mentor may soon be back in the National First Division.

Maritzburg United have made enquiries about signing midfielder Abia Nale. Nale is a free agent after Kaizer Chiefs did not renew his contract for the upcoming season after spending last season on-loan at Mpumalanga Black Aces. The midfielder could now find a new home in KwaZulu-Natal with United according to a source close to the player."Maritzburg United have made an offer to the player. Both parties are still talking and Nale looks like he really wants to come and play for United," says the source.

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Dove Wome could be heading to SuperSport United. Wome, who struggled for game-time last season, was left behind when the Brazilians departed for a pre-season camp in Zimbabwe. And according to a source close to the former Free State Stars man, negotiations between United and Sundowns over his services are now at an advanced stage.

The tug of war between Chippa United and Ajax Cape Town for the services of Nigerian striker George Akpabio is far from over. Akpabio recently signed a two-year contract with United after spending last season on loan at the club from Ajax. However, the Urban Warriors are adamant that Akpabio is still their player after exercising a one-year option on his contract. Chilli Boys boss Chippa Mpengesi confirmed the matter could now be heading to the PSL's Dispute Resolution Chamber.

Chippa United are on the verge of signing attacking midfielder Erwin Isaacs from Bidvest Wits. Isaacs pulled no punches when saying in June that he wants out of Wits due to insufficient game-time, and the Students appear to have granted him his wish. The 27-year-old is set to pen a three-year contract with the Chilli Boys, who are also chasing another ex-Santos star in Mamelodi Sundowns striker Eleazar Rodgers. United boss Chippa Mpengesi has confirmed the imminent capture of Isaacs.

Black Leopards have enlisted the services of coach Ashwin Sutton as part of their technical team this coming season. Sutton has joined former Amajita coach Solly Luvhengo as part of Lidoda Duvha in their mission to gain promotion to the PSL next season. Sutton has worked for a number of teams in the NFD including African Warriors and Sivutsa Stars, now known as Royal Eagles.