Local News - Issue 216

Tshabalala A Major Doubt For Soweto Derby
Kaizer Chiefs are sweating on the fitness of Siphiwe Tshabalala ahead of the Carling Black Label Cup showdown against Orlando Pirates at Soccer City on Saturday.
The Bafana Bafana midfielder sustained an apparent knee injury in Amakhosi's 4-2 friendly win over Chippa United in Port Elizabeth this past weekend. Tshabalala limped off the field, and Chiefs spokesman Vina Maphosa said the club are waiting on a medical report to reveal the extent of the knock. Meanwhile, Zimbabwean midfielder Ovidy Karuru looks to have done enough to earn a contract at Naturena. Karuru represented the Soweto side against the Chilli Boys. Maphosa added that the Glamour Boys will stage a press conference on Wednesday where they will make a number of announcements, including on the future of Karuru.

The stage is set for the ABC Motsepe League play-offs following a draw that was conducted at the Marine Parade Garden Court in Durban on Monday evening. Nine teams will battle it out for promotion to the National First Division (NFD), South Africa’s second tier. The teams are divided into two groups - Group A with five teams while there will be four teams in Group B. Group winners will automatically be promoted to the NFD. The overall winner will walk away with R1 million while the runners up will receive R500 000. The play-offs kicked off on Tuesday at the SJ Smith Stadium. On Wednesday games will take place at the SJ Smith Stadium, while day three, four and five will see the action shifted to the King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi. The final will be staged on Sunday, and the winner will be crowned overall SAFA Second Division champions for 2014.

Group A: Cape Town All Stars, Angavu Stars, Sibanye Golden Stars, Apollo XI or Phiva Young Stars, Shining Stars.
Group B:
Steach United, Natal United or Kings United, Magesi FC, Highlands Park.

SAFA have announced they will name the new Bafana Bafana coach on Saturday.
“The position of the senior men’s national team needs to be ratified by the SAFA NEC; therefore, the long-awaited announcement of the new Bafana Bafana coach will be made immediately after the NEC meeting next Saturday,” said SAFA CEO Denis Mumble in a statement released last Tuesday afternoon. Speculative reports have linked Giovanni Trappatoni, Stephen Keshi, Ruud Krol, Herve Renard, Shakes Mashaba and Carlos Queiroz to the role amongst others since Gordon Igesund's departure was confirmed.

Free State side Bloemfontein Celtic has been sold to Max Tshabalala despite all the denials over the months.
Tshabalala, who owns Roses United – the team that now plays in the ABC Motsepe League - confirmed through Roses’ Twitter account that Siwelele is now owned by “Max Tshabalala and family as effect from Monday”. The business tycoon confirmed on July 9 that he had put in an offer to buy Celtic.

Orlando Pirates have offered DR Congo striker Ngoyi Eddy Emomo a contract and he is set to soon be officially unveiled as a Bucs player. This website broke the news about Emomo and his countryman Bodrick Ungenda Muselenge being on trial in Mayfair. And the former is now poised to sign on with the Soweto giants according to a source at the club, who says: "Pirates have not wasted time and have offered the player a contract.”

It’s a done deal after Dynamos finally agreed to release Zimbabwe defender Partson Jaure to University of Pretoria.
Dynamos chairman Keni Mubaiwa has confirmed they have agreed to the transfer fee for Jaure to move to AmaTuks, but refused to say how much the player has been sold for. This website also revealed last week that negotiations between the two clubs hit a wall after Dynamos refused to accept the R800 000 Tuks were offering for the player, contending that he was worth more than R1 million.

SuperSport United have decided against signing midfielder Cyril Mashego, who had been training with the club in the hope of a deal. The former Orlando Pirates midfielder has been with United since the start of pre-season training. Mashego is trying to revive his top-flight career after playing in the National First Division with FC Cape Town last season. Meanwhile, former Platinum Stars striker Thabani Mthembu is also trying his luck with SuperSport with a view to impressing Johnson.

Ex-Bloemfontein Celtic defender Johannes Motlhaping will play First Division football this season as he is due to complete his move to Vasco da Gama. Motlhaping is already training with Vasco after failing to win a contract at Mpumalanga Black Aces. Vasco have confirmed the imminent signing of the 32-year-old, who was released from Celtic at the end of last season after a lengthy stay at the club. Also joining Vasco is the ex-Chippa United duo of Sibusiso Mokoena and Abduraghmaan White, along with Mbulelo Wambi. Vasco – who have been taken over by Mario Ferreira – will remain in Cape Town.

The tug of war between Ajax Cape Town and Chippa United over Nigerian striker George Akpabio has ended in the Urban Warriors' favour. Ajax exercised a one-year option on Akpabio's contract in June, but faced a battle to retain his services after Chippa said the player had penned a two-year deal with them during his loan spell at Philippi Stadium.

Maritzburg United have handed a trial to Ghanaian striker Mike Mohammed, who was recently training with Kaizer Chiefs. "He (Mohammed) is on trial and we will only make a decision about him next week," says United team manager Quinton Jettoo.

The national under-20 team will start their tour of West Africa with a friendly against Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou on Wednesday. Amajita, who jetted off, will play three other games against Mali, Senegal and Ivory Coast as part of their preparations for a crucial 2015 African Youth Championships qualifier against Cameroon in Yaounde on 16 August.

Swedish side Goteborg says they will sit down with May Mahlangu in the next few weeks and try and persuade the Bafana Bafana midfielder to stay at the club past his current deal. Mahlangu has been back to his best form in Sweden in recent weeks, good news too for the incoming Bafana coach ahead of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in September. And Goteborg say they will make a desperate bit to extend his current contract that runs up until the end of the year.

AmaZulu have confirmed the signing of Kenyan international Paul Were on a three-year deal. The 23-year-old midfielder joins Usuthu from Kenyan side AFC Leopards. Were becomes the club’s seventh signing ahead of the 2014/15 season. AmaZulu have also signed Philani Shange, Siyabonga Mngoma, Tapelo Nyongo, Mfanufuthi ‘Mbesuma’ Dlamini, Darren Smith and Bornwell Mwape.

Mamelodi Sundowns have confirmed defender Abel Mabaso has joined Maritzburg United on a season-long loan. The 23-year-old start training at United on Monday. Mabaso was farmed out to Mpumalanga Black Aces last term after making 23 outings for Sundowns in the previous campaign. There is fierce competition for the right-back position at Chloorkop, with Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Bryce Moon and new signings Siyanda Zwane and Rheece Evans all hoping to play there.

Free State are the Safa/SAB National Under-21 League Championships winners after walloping hosts North West 4-2 in an exciting final played at the University of North West on Sunday. In a match attended by Safa President, Dr Danny Jordaan and several NEC members and Safa Provincial leaders, Free State completed an amazing week in which they played the most enterprising football and were full value of their gold medals position.

SuperSport United were crowned the new champions of the Engen Under-17 Knockout Challenge in Gauteng after overcoming Bidvest Wits 4-3 on penalties in the final played on Sunday at Marks Park. To reach the final SuperSport downed Mpumalanga Black Aces 4-3 on penalties while Wits also sneaked through 11-10 in a marathon shootout. SuperSport forward Zama Rambuwane was named Player of the Tournament while he also picked up the best striker award. Several coaches praised the high standard of the tournament with the winning coach Ricardo Katza upbeat about the future of youngsters in his team.

University of Pretoria coach Steve Barker has confirmed that Denver Mukamba has joined them in a season-long loan from Bidvest Wits. The Zimbabwean midfielder has been training with AmaTuks since the beginning of last week and Barker confirmed during the Gauteng Cup on Saturday that he will join them on a loan deal.

Banyana Banyana were paired against Ghana, Algeria and Cameroon in the African Women's Championship (AWC) scheduled for Namibia in October. The Vera Pauw-coached side avoided nemesis Nigeria, who were paired against hosts Namibia, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire in a draw conducted in the Namibian capital of Windhoek on Saturday.“I am happy with the draw. I could not have asked for a better outcome. If you want to be a champion, you must be prepared to slag it out against the best,” said Pauw in reaction to the draw. The top three countries will qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup scheduled for Canada next year.

SuperSport United won the Gauteng Challenge pre-season tournament after beating Mamelodi Sundowns 4-3 on penalties in the Final. Matsatsantsa earned their place in the decider after beating University of Pretoria 5-4 on penalties in their earlier game after a 2-2 draw, while the Brazilians thrashed Moroka Swallows 5-0 in their semi-final.

Bloemfontein Celtic got their season off to a winning start after winning the inaugural Charity Showdown, beating AmaZulu 2-0 in the Final at Bidvest Stadium. Celtic beat Bidvest Wits 1-0 to reach the final, while AmaZulu earned their place in the final game after beating Mpumalanga Black Aces 2-1 earlier in the day. Wits finished third in the Charity Showdown after beating Aces 4-2 on penalties following an incredible 4-4 draw in regular time.

Former Kaizer Chiefs left-back Keegan Ritchie is hopeful he can win a contract at Bloemfontein Celtic after starting a trial with Phunya Sele Sele. Ritchie recently returned to South Africa following a brief ill-fated stay with Czech side Slavia Prague. "I am on trial with Celtic having started today (Saturday)," Ritchie said from the dugout at Bidvest Stadium as Ernst Middendorp's side reached the Charity Showdown final at the expense of Bidvest Wits.

Ajax Cape Town have confirmed the signing of winger Phathizwe Sacolo on a two-year contract. The 22-year-old started his career at Balfour Park football club in Johannesburg.
Sacolo was scouted by Bidvest Wits in the Engen Tournament at the age of 16 and spent two years with the Clever Boys’ reserve team and after finishing high school, moved to America on a scholarship. Last season the attacking winger played in Sweden’s second division Superettan for IFK Varnamo.

Scottish outfit Whitehill Welfare are trying to coax Bafana Bafana legend Benni McCarthy out of retirement, according to reports.
McCarthy, South Africa's record scorer with 31 goals, called time on his career last year following an injury-ridden second season with Orlando Pirates. However, the 36-year-old played and scored in semi-professional Whitehill’s 5-3 defeat to Hamilton Academical in a friendly last Sunday. Apparently, Whitehill are hoping a deal can be struck before their Lowland league campaign starts on August 2. McCarthy represented the likes of Ajax Amsterdam, FC Porto, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United prior to joining Bucs in August 2011.

Ghana goalkeeper Fatau Dauda is looking increasingly likely to leave Orlando Pirates as he presses on with his desire to be his country's number one. Dauda, who played two impressive games for the Black Stars at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, has attracted interest from North Africa and the Middle East. Pirates have already been made aware of the interest and with the Ghana national team making it known to him that for him to remain relevant in the national team he needs to start playing regular club football, Pirates must now make the final call on the 29-year-old.

Organisers of the Cosafa Cup are under pressure to raise funds for the tournament, according to reports. The competition, which was won by Zambia on home soil last year, is scheduled to run in Botswana from September 13-28. It was initially moved from July to accommodate the World Cup. The tournament offers local-based footballers, on the fringe of national team selection, a chance to display their abilities on a bigger stage. As the showpiece falls outside of the Fifa calendar, clubs are not obliged to release their players for it.

AmaZulu have received a big blow with the news that Ayanda Dlamini will be out for four weeks due to a knee injury. Dlamini, who is vice-captain of Usuthu, suffered a knee injury in a friendly match against Jomo Cosmos last Tuesday and doctors on Thursday confirmed that he will be out for at least a month.

Bidvest Wits have loaned out midfield hardman Sandile Sibande to Moroka Swallows on a season-long deal. Sibande spent the last half of last season on loan at Polokwane City after battling for game-time during the first half of the season and upon his return found himself still further down the pecking order in central midfield at Wits.

Port Elizabeth-based side Chippa United have confirmed the signing of Nigerian midfielder Ugonna Uzochukwu. The 21-year-old was signed from Enugu Rangers, though the length of the contract has not been disclosed. Uzochukwu was part of Nigeria’s squad that finished third in the 2014 Chan tournament that was hosted by South Africa earlier this year. Meanwhile, Chippa have also confirmed the signing of Thamsanqa Sangweni from Mamelodi Sundowns. The Chilli Boys have been one of the busiest teams in the transfer market having signed over 10 players for the new season.

Malta international Steve Borg has signed a two-year contract with Platinum Stars and becomes the first player from the Mediterranean country to play in South Africa’s Premier League. It was reported on July 11 that Borg was training with Dikwena and had impressed their technical team. Borg has now confirmed to the Times of Malta that the deal is signed and sealed. Borg – a 26-year-old centre-back – played for Valletta FC in the Maltese Premier League and he has nine caps for his country. Stars’ football manager Senzo Mazingisa was not available for comment.

Safa Free State have hit out at Bloemfontein Celtic coach Ernst Middendorp after Phunya Sele Sele refused to release an Under-20 player for national duty. The national U-20 team is scheduled to participate in a Four Nations tournament against Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast in Abidjan on July 30. One of the players called up was Celtic's Tshepo Chaine, but his club refused to release him on the basis that he is now part of the senior team. But Safa Free State chairman Mzwandile Maforvane is not impressed by this. “In my opinion, the Bloemfontein Celtic coach does not have the interest of our country at heart,” says Maforvane. “They have a foreign coach who does not have interest of country hence he will not support any efforts that would be taken to retain the pride of our country in football.”

Bloemfontein Celtic have maintained their stance that they will not release Frank Mhango and Limbikani Mzava to the Malawian national team next month. Celtic have decided against releasing striker Mhango and defender Mzava for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Benin on August 2 because they claim that the game does not fall under the FIFA calendar. The Malawian Football Association have since written a letter to SAFA to ask for their intervention to force Siwelele to release the duo for the game against Benin. However, Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco re-affirmed their stance of not releasing the Malawian players for national duty.

South Africa have dropped one spot to 66th in the world rankings, released by FIFA last Thursday. Bafana Bafana are 14th in Africa, with Algeria retaining top spot on the continent following their decent showing at the World Cup. A triumphant Germany are aptly number one globally, ahead of Argentina, who they edged 1-0 in last week's World Cup Final. Tournament hosts Brazil slipped four spots to seventh following their fourth-placed showing at the sporting spectacle. Netherlands, who beat the Samba Boys 3-0 in the third place playoff, jumped 12 places to third. Spain were at the summit prior to their first-round elimination and are now eighth.

World top 10: 1 Germany, Argentina, Netherlands, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Spain, Brazil, Switzerland, France.
Africa top 10:
1 Algeria, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Tunisia, Guinea, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Mali.

Mamelodi Sundowns youngster Xolani Mdaki is impressing on his trial at Djurgardens FC, according to the player's agent Tim Sukazi. Mdaki, who was on loan at Santos last season, has spent close to two weeks with the Swedish side, and has featured in two games, playing at right-back and as an attacking midfelder. Downs gave an update on Mdaki's progress on their website, saying: "This is his final week of trials, and we expect to hear from Djugardens. The youngster is positive about his performance, and he knew that he had a chance to make a good impression.”

Mamelodi Sundowns striker Edward Manqele has demanded his clearance from the club after they placed him on a 'hlasela mafutha' (fat attack) programme for six weeks. Manqele was left out of the squad that travelled to Zimbabwe for a pre-season camp after initially being put on a six-week programme to lose weight. However, Josiah Mphono of Mphono Players Management refutes what is going on saying that the club are out to discredit the striker after finding out his intention to leave. "All this this is not true, Manqele carried the same weight at Moroka Swallows and did well during his loan stint with the club last season.”

ProSport International have confirmed that they are pursuing European opportunities for SuperSport United midfield hardman Edwin Gyimah, who could possibly be leaving within the next week. Turkish club Gaziantepspor, who have been keen since the beginning of last season, have re-ignited their interest, while another club in Sweden is also said to be keen on the Ghana midfielder. The Turkish club tabled an offer of R4million at the beginning of last season, but SuperSport chose to hold on to the 23-year-old.

Rudolf Bester is still looking for a new club after failing to win a contract at Moroka Swallows. The striker, whose contract with Orlando Pirates expired last month, had been training with the Dube Birds after spending last season on loan at relegated Golden Arrows.

Musa Nyatama is set to stay with Mamelodi Sundowns after impressing the technical team during pre-season. The former Maritzburg United midfielder spent last season on loan at Bloemfontein Celtic, and was expected to be among the players to be loaned out again for 2014/15. Nyatama is currently in camp with the Brazilians in Zimbabwe and is set to have impressed coach Pitso Mosimane. Meanwhile, midfielder Raymond Monama is set to leave Sundowns, with University of Pretoria the likely destination.

Moroka Swallows have completed the signing of former Platinum Stars midfielder Lantshene Phalane. Swallows have already also signed Obren Cuckovic, Vladimir Mandic, Boris Savic, Kevin Omondi, Tsietsi Mahoa, Lucky Baloyi and Philani Cele.

SA players abroad: Daylon Claasen made his second appearance for new club 1860 Munich as the side upped their pre-season preparations in Austria.
After debuting in the 2-1 victory over Russian Premier League side Lokomotiv Moscow in his first game, this time Claasen was on the end of a 1-0 defeat to second-tier club Austria Lustenau. The Bafana Bafana midfielder played the first 67 minutes before being replaced having played the first half against Lokomotiv.
Thulani Serero, who only returned to training last week after being given an extended break by Ajax Amsterdam, played the second half as the Dutch club defeated Wacker Innsbruck 5-1 in Austria. Serero, who recently extended his contract with the Dutch giants to June 2017, played the full second half. Austria is a popular destination for pre-season because clubs are able to train at high altitude that in theory allows player to reach peak fitness quicker. 
Meanwhile, PEC Zwolle, without their South African duo of Kamohelo Mokotjo and Dean Patricio, cantered to an 18-0 victory over local amateurs DOS Kampen.
Ayanda Patosi was missing for Belgian side Lokeren as they won 5-0 over local side Red Devils, but Darren Keet played for Kortrijk as they beat fellow top-flight side Lierse 2-0.
Andile Jali also missed KV Oostende’s 1-1 draw at KSV Roeselare for unspecified reasons.

Finally, Lebogang Phiri was on the bench for Danish side Brondby as they won 2-0 at Czech Republic side Slovan Liberec. Phiri will hope to be in the starting line-up when Brondby host English giants Liverpool on July 16.