Local News - Issue 219

MultiChoice To Revive Reserve League
MultiChoice has announced its new multi-pronged Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme aimed at supporting development in football and broadcasting.
The programme, called the MultiChoice Diski Challenge, includes a football competition for PSL academy clubs; life-skills and leadership development for players; an internship programme to develop broadcasting skills amongst the youth; scholarships for players and production interns; as well as a chance for community television channels on DStv to broadcast the MultiChoice Diski Challenge matches. The programme is a three-year partnership with the PSL with the focus on building the Reserve League. In line with the PSL’s Club Licensing Programme, the primary emphasis will be on fast-tracking the club’s Under-19 talent into their first teams, with clubs limited to include a maximum of three players above the age of 20 in their reserve league teams.

MultiChoice Diski Challenge: Group A – Kaizer Chiefs, Moroka Swallows, SuperSport United, University of Pretoria, Bloemfontein Celtic, Maritzburg United, Polokwane City, Ajax Cape Town 

MultiChoice Diski Challenge: Group B – Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns, Bidvest Wits, Mpumalanga Black Aces, Platinum Stars, Free State Stars, AmaZulu, Chippa United
The competition includes a round-robin league format and knockout phase for the 16 PSL teams, and will also equip players for life after football through life and leadership development skills as well as exposure to careers in broadcasting by attending a one-week career conference at the MultiChoice campus. PSL chairman Irvin Khoza says the MultiChoice Diski Challenge addresses the need for PSL clubs to develop homegrown talent which will facilitate progression from academy football to the professional ranks. The MultiChoice Diski Challenge tournament will kick off with a festival weekend in KwaZulu-Natal in September and runs to March 2015. The winning team will receive a magnificent floating trophy and a life-changing trip to Holland for a four-day training camp with the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) and their top youth coaches, as well as a match against a top Dutch team. The team will also play two friendly games in Germany against two top Bundesliga teams. SuperSport will broadcast the MultiChoice Diski Challenge matches live. It will give up to 43 production interns the chance to get on-the-field experience as the crew for the league. They will produce live games as well as a weekly magazine show under the guidance of experienced SuperSport production staff. These internships aim to attract more females into the world of sport production, with 50% of the interns being female. The interns and the players will also benefit from five fully paid academic scholarships. As part of this groundbreaking initiative, the games will be offered for broadcast to community television channels, which are already available on the DStv platform. The first festival weekend of the MultiChoice Diski Challenge will be played in KZN on September 13, followed by a life-skills workshop for players on September 14 before moving on to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Bloemfontein in the weeks ahead. 

Bafana Bafana midfielder Kamohelo Mokotjo has signed a four-year deal with FC Twente, the Dutch club has confirmed. Twente revealed Mokotjo, who cost a reported €1.5 million from PEC Zwolle, attended training this morning and will wear jersey number 22 at De Grolsch Veste. The 23-year-old joins compatriot Nhlakanipho Ntuli at The Tukkers, with the latter competing for the youth team. Twente moved to bring Mokotjo on board - amid rival interest from Ajax Amsterdam - following the sale of Quincy Promes to Spartak Moscow for €15m.

AmaZulu coach Craig Rosslee is hopeful star midfielder Goodman Dlamini will soon be available after he missed their Premiership opener against Ajax Cape Town due to paperwork issues. Dlamini, who is Usuthu's reigning player of the season, was a notable absentee in Sunday’s goalless draw at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Banyana Banyana beat Namibia 2-0 in an international friendly at Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday afternoon. In Janine van Wyk’s 100th international match, the home side took an early lead when Amanda Dlamini slotted home after just three minutes, taking advantage of an interception from just outside the box. Banyana are preparing for the 9th edition of the African Women’s Championship, which will be hosted in Namibia from 11-25 October.

Hansa Pilsener has become the official beer sponsor of Barclays Premier League clubs Manchester City and Arsenal in South Africa.
The deal comes following City's League and Capital One Cup triumphs in 2013/14, while Arsenal won the FA Cup last season. Commenting on the partnership, chief business officer for City, Tom Glick, said: “Hansa has a special relationship with South African City fans and has been part of their match-day experience in pubs and supporters clubs across the country for many years.  Their brand vision to inspire people to achieve their dreams, make them the perfect fit for Manchester City, and we are looking forward to helping them to achieve this goal.” Vinai Venkatesham, sales and marketing director for Arsenal, said of the partnership: “We are delighted to welcome Hansa Pilsener to the Club as an official partner. We are always looking to engage with our supporters and fans of the game globally, and through this partnership we will be able to offer exclusive access to the Club while giving Hansa Pilsener the opportunity to reach our millions of supporters through creative digital media campaigns.” Hansa will also have exclusive access to match tickets and autographed official merchandise to give away to South African fans over the next few months. “As official sponsors of Manchester City and Arsenal in South Africa, Hansa Pilsener is looking forward to making football fans dreams come true and has more exciting initiatives planned which will be announced in due course,” said Hansa Pilsener general manager Khensani Nobanda.

Xolani Mdaki has completed a six-month loan to Swedish top-flight side Djurgardens.
The Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder, who spent last season on loan at National First Division side Santos, joins compatriot Mark Mayambela at the club. He has been signed to cover a number of positions across the park and will hope to extend his deal with an influential second half of the season. The 22-year-old Mdaki has been given the number 17 jersey this season.

Brazilian side Santos were crowned the inaugural champions of the eLAN Durban Under-19 International Football Tournament after defeating Portuguese side Benfica 2-0 in the final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night. Their South American rivals Boca Junior from Argentina claimed third with a penalty shoot-out victory over Feyenoord. But the glory belonged to Santos, who claimed the main prize and bragging rights after what has been a memorable tournament in Durban. It looked as though their final with Benfica might go to penalties before substitute Igor Santana came on as a substitute to score two goals. That was enough to hand the trophy to Santos, who ended up as the top-scorers in the competition with 10 goals. Their forward Matheus Silva finished as the leading individual scorer with three goals. The eLAN Durban Under-19 International Football Tournament is in its inaugural year and is a partnership between the South African Football Association, KwaZulu-Natal provincial government and Ethekwini Municipality.

The South African Football Association says they will push on with the ‘prosecutions’ of the players who opted out of national team duty towards the end of last season. Bafana Bafana travelled to Australia and New Zealand in May without a host of first-choice players for what proved to be Gordon Igesund’s last matches in charge. Three months on, SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble says they are pressing on with action against the likes of Teko Modise, Sthembiso Ngcobo, Oupa Manyisa and Thabo Matlaba. “We will prosecute those players that refused to play in the Australia and New Zealand tour,” Mumble said at a press conference on Friday. “If we want to prosecute a player in the Premier Soccer League, we will prosecute him. We are SAFA and we are in charge of South African football.” As for the punishment to be meted out to the players, Mumble says they will await what the Disciplinary Committee says.

The South African Football Association has announced that the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Nigeria will be played in Cape Town. Bafana Bafana open their qualifying campaign with a tough away trip to Khartoum on September 5 to face Sudan, before hosting the Super Eagles at the Cape Town Stadium five days later. Meanwhile, SAFA president Danny Jordaan says new coach Shakes Mashaba does not have a mandate to qualify for the Nations Cup in Morocco.

Zambia striker Clifford Mulenga has signed a one-year deal with Ajax Cape Town following a trial at the club. Mulenga was on the books of Mpumalanga Black Aces last season. “It feels good signing for Ajax Cape Town, it wasn’t my best year last season playing for Black Aces and Ajax Cape Town have given me the opportunity to prove myself again,” Mulenga said.

Ajax Cape Town have secured the services of midfielder Granwald Scott for a further three years, the club has confirmed.
The 26-year-old has been with the Urban Warriors since the age of 12 and is delighted to extend his stay at Ikamva. Scott has made more than 150 appearances for the club, with just about double figures in the goals-scored column, but that is not his game in any case. Scott's contract with Ajax now runs until the end of June 2018.

Moroka Swallows have re-signed Giulio Giuricich on a one-year deal. Giuricich initially joined Swallows in September 2012 on a deal running to the end of the 2012/13 season but tore his cruciate ligament in May 2013, forcing him to sit out the past season while recovering. The 24-year-old, who has also played in the Italian lower leagues, can play as a left-back and in midfield.

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Raymond Monama will be joining Mpumalanga Black Aces. According to a source, the deal is as good as done. “The two clubs are still talking to finalise the deal and at this stage, it has not been decided whether he will join on loan or an outright deal but I can tell you that he is joining Aces. That’s for sure,” he says. The 25-year-old joined Sundowns at the beginning of the 2013/14 season, but was loaned out to University of Pretoria in January this year.

Platinum Stars are still in talks with Mamelodi Sundowns over signing striker Eleazar Rodgers. Dikwena hope to enlist the ex-Santos man as part of the deal that sees midfielder Mogakolodi Ngele link up with the Brazilians next season. Stars football manager Senzo Mazingiza confirms the club's continued interest in Rodgers, who was on loan at Ajax Cape Town last season.

Ajax Cape Town midfielder Franklin Cale has returned to training but will miss the early-season action as he remains at least a month away from playing competitive football. Cale played just two games for Ajax early last season but a nagging knee injury forced him to miss the rest of the campaign after he underwent surgery to correct the problem. According to Ajax coach Roger de Sa, the 31-year-old is back at full training but not yet ready to take to the field on matchdays.

Nike, the technical partner of the South African Football Association, has explained the extensive absence of the national team kits from the market. The strip is not available six months after the two parties signed a five-year partnership, ending a short association with German company Puma. Nike Africa communications manager Seruscka Naidoo says that enthusiasts will have to wait a little longer for the kit, which will only be available early next year. “The new Bafana Bafana national team kit will be available for purchase in early January 2015,” she says of the kit Bafana first wore in March during a 5-0 defeat to visiting Brazil at FNB Stadium.

Santos have announced the appointment of Farouk Abrahams as head coach and the resignation of Edris Burton as chief operations officer. "I am very happy and excited at the prospect of guiding this youthful squad to maturity in the hurly-burly world of NFD soccer," Abrahams, who briefly coached Chippa United recently, tells the club's website. With regards to Burton's resignation, a club statement read: "The club would like to wholeheartedly thank Mr Burton for his services to the club over the past seven years. "We at Santos fully appreciate his contribution as a player as well as an administrator and with him all the success in his future endeavours."

Edward Manqele's move to Chippa United is off the table, according to the Mamelodi Sundowns striker's agent. Sundowns recently announced Manqele was joining United on a season-long loan, along with Thamsanqa Sangweni. However, Manqele's representative Josia Mphono later revealed his client had not agreed on the switch, saying talks were ongoing. Mphono has now confirmed Manqele will not be linking up with the Chilli Boys.

South African players abroad wrap
Kamohelo Mokotjo made his debut for FC Twente. He left PEC Zwolle last week, made his Twente bow off the bench as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Cambuur. The visitors were trailing at the break when Mokotjo was introduced.

Compatriot Nhlakanipho Ntuli made his first professional appearance when he came off the bench for the Twente’s reserve side at VVV Venlo on Friday night.

Thulani Serero played the full game for Ajax as they crushed Vitesse 4-1.

Daylon Claasen did not make it off the bench as his German Bundesliga II side 1860 Munich continued their poor start to the new season with a 3-0 loss at home to Leipzig. That is now back-to-back defeats for the promotion hopefuls and Claasen will now hope for a starting berth when the side travel to Heidenheim on Friday.

Lebogang Phiri came on for the final 15 minutes as his Brondby side drew 1-1 at home to Odense. They have yet to win any of their four leagues matches to date and were also dumped out of the UEFA Europa league by Belgian side Club Brugge last Thursday.

Bafana Bafana striker Tokelo Rantie played the final eight minutes for English Championship side Bournemouth as they trounced Huddersfield Town 4-0 away from home, but Kagisho Dikgacoi missed Cardiff City’s 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers on Friday night through injury.

Dean Furman started for Doncaster Rovers as they begin life back in the English third-tier following their relegation from the Championship last season. Rovers thumped Yeovil Town 3-0 and must be among the favourites for promotion from this division.

Bafana leftback Kgosi Ntlhe also started for Peterborough United in League One as they won 1-0 at Rochdale Town. There is also plenty of optimism around Posh for a promotion push this year.

Darren Holden was an unused substitute for Hartlepool United as they lost 1-0 Stevenage in their League Two opener.

Andile Jali started as KV Oostende picked up a first win of the season with a 1-0 success at Cercle Brugge in Belgium and Anele Ngcongca was in the Genk side that were held to a 0-0 draw by Lokeren, who were without the injured Ayanda Patosi once again.

Darren Keet was in goal for Kortrijk as they picked up a first win of the Belgian season with a 2-1 success away at Mechelen.

May Mahlangu played for Goteborg as they were held 2-2 by Malmo in Sweden and Mark Mayambela came off the bench as Djurgardens lost 2-1 at Halmstad. There was no sign of Djurgardens’ new signing Xolani Mdaki though.

Ayanda Nkili came on as a late substitute for Orebro in Sweden as they got a much-needed 1-0 away win at fellow strugglers Mjallby.

Joel Untersee played in the last 68 minutes of Vaduz’s 1-0 loss at Sion in Switzerland, but Lukas Schenkel did not make it off the bench for FC Thun.

Siyanda Xulu was an unused substitute for his Russian side FC Rostov as they were held 2-2 by Kuban' Krasnodar.

Dani Amos was not in action again for Israeli side Hapoel Tel Aviv as the start of the season in that country was delayed for a second weekend in a row due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.