Local News - Issue 225

MTN8 Gone, Now For Telkom Knockout
Telkom Knockout holders Platinum Stars will open their defence against Chippa United, while Absa Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs will face Maritzburg United. The draw for the 2014 competition took place on Monday night. The tournament will start in the first weekend of October, with the Premier Soccer League set to announce dates and venues in due course.

Bidvest Wits vs Moroka Swallows
SuperSport United vs Free State Stars
Ajax Cape Town vs Mpumalanga Black Aces
Platinum Stars vs Chippa United
Mamelodi Sundowns vs University of Pretoria
Kaizer Chiefs vs Maritzburg United
Orlando Pirates vs Polokwane City
AmaZulu vs Bloemfontein Celtic

Pretoria are fighting for the services of Varsity Football star Jeremiah Nkwana. The midfielder helped amaTuks win this year's tournament, notably scoring the goal in the 1-0 win over the University of Johannesburg in the final earlier this month. Steve Barker's outfit are now looking to tie down the in-demand Safa School of Excellence graduate, according to a source close to the topflight club.

Big spending First Division side Royal Eagles have cooled speculation linking their coach Duncan Lechesa with the exit door following the club’s difficult start to the season. Lechesa's charges have lost three of their four matches to date, igniting rumours that he could be heading to Black Leopards – a club he represented during his playing days. “I am still here at the club. My heart is with Eagles and the club management is behind me so I am not going anywhere,” says Lechesa. Eagles lost 4-2 to Santos on Friday night at Athlone Stadium.

Polokwane City are still awaiting the issuing of work permits for Botswana goalkeeper Modiri Marumo, Ugandan midfielder Boban Zirintusa and Serbian coach Kosta Papic. City have felt the absence of the experienced Marumo with the club conceding 12 goals in the six games that they have played to date with Dino Visser in goals. Zirintusa has also had to watch from the sidelines since joining at the start of the season, while Papic has had to miss one game since he arrived from Chippa United at the beginning of the month. Costa Bellos, the City GM, says they are still waiting on the trio’s papers. Polokwane will host champions Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday.

Mamelodi Sundowns have been boosted by the return from injury of Khama Billiat and Lebohang Mokoena. The pair have resumed full training following a lengthy spell on the sidelines, according to an update on their club's official website. Playmaker Billiat fractured a bone in his foot towards the end of last term, while winger Mokoena had a shoulder operation in pre-season. The duo will hope to win coach Pitso Mosimane's favour for Downs' next Absa Premiership tie against Polokwane City at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday. In more good news Sundowns have received a huge morale boost as their captain Alje Schut has recovered from an ankle injury. The influential defender has missed his club's previous two games after sustaining the knock in a 3-0 loss to Pirates on 27 August.

Kaizer Chiefs hero Brilliant Khuzwayo's family home in Umlazi was burgled on Saturday night while the goalkeeper was helping the club win the MTN8 trophy. Khuzwayo beamed after the final whistle and delivered a stirring thank you to everybody connected with Chiefs after receiving his MTN Man of the Match award. Little did the 24-year-old know, the night would have a dampener put on it as thieves were busy breaking into his aunt's house in Umlazi P-Section. There were 44 000 burglaries of homes in KwaZulu-Natal from April last year to March this year according to the latest police statistics, the newspaper further reported, and 981 residential burglaries in Umlazi over the period.

Former Bush Bucks and Kaizer Chiefs striker Patrick Mayo says he is very happy to be given the opportunity to be an assistant coach for Chippa United in the Multichoice Diski Challenge. Mayo aided Velile Dyaloyi in the Chilli Boys' 3-2 loss to Mpumalanga Black Aces on Sunday in the new competition, which serves as a reserve league to the Absa Premiership. The ex-Bafana Bafana international was previously coaching in the SAB League.

The Premier Soccer League has charged Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane with making improper statements and bringing the League into disrepute. This follows comments made by Mosimane on 27 August 2014 during the Absa Premiership fixture between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at Loftus Stadium. Mosimane will appear before the PSL Disciplinary Committee on Thursday, 25 September.

Edward Manqele has filed a letter with the PSL's Dispute Resolution Chamber in a bid to sort out his future with Mamelodi Sundowns. Manqele wants out of Sundowns, and is currently training alone. The ex-Free State Stars striker, who spent last season on loan at Moroka Swallows, nearly joined Chippa United in the recent transfer window but the deal fell through. A source close to Manqele has confirmed the matter is now with the DRC. "He has since filed a letter to the DRC having done it on Friday," says the source. "There are many issues which also involve money. He is ready to fight tooth and nail for justice to prevail."

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Tiyani Mabunda could be set for a move to Free State Stars. Mabunda, who was previously linked with a move to Polokwane City, started training with Ea Lla Koto towards the end of last week and according to our informant, there is a good chance he may join the club. However, the player is still contracted to Sundowns and therefore he can’t join Stars immediately. “The idea is to see if Sundowns can loan him to Stars during the January transfer window, but it seems Stars are interested in him. Let’s wait and see how things go,” says the source.

AmaZulu have terminated Bongi Macala's contract, while Ruzaigh Gamildien has been fined and ‘demoted’ to train with Usuthu’s feeder team after being found guilty of misconduct. AmaZulu’s communications manager, Philani Mabaso, confirmed: “Yes, I can confirm that Bongi Macala’s contract with AmaZulu has been terminated with immediate effect after being found guilty of misconduct and breaking the team’s rules and regulations.“Every player who signs a contract with AmaZulu is bound by the rules and regulations to follow, and if he happens to be found guilty of disobeying them he is hauled before the team’s DC chairperson Lunga Sokhela,” says Mabaso. "Macala had previously appeared twice before the team’s DC, so the management had no choice but to terminate his contract for finding him guilty of the same offence. But Gamildien has been fined (of undisclosed amount) and instructed to train with the team’s feeder team (Durban Warriors, playing in the Second Division) for a certain period because it was for the first time he was found guilty by the team’s disciplinary committee,” Mabaso says. Macala, a former U-23 international, joined Usuthu in July last year, while fellow midfielder Gamildien joined the Durban side in January.

The South African Police Service have arrested a suspect who was allegedly trying to sell 2014/15 MTN8 final counterfeit tickets. The suspect, who had 100 fake tickets with him, was arrested in Durban on Saturday morning. PSL head of safety and security, Phillip Masimong said: "We promised that we will crack down on people with counterfeit tickets." However, the suspect alleged to have been found selling counterfeit tickets for the MTN8 Final in Durban is yet to report to court after being granted bail at the weekend. South African police moved swiftly to arrest a 32-year-old man after he was found the fake tickets for the Soweto Derby played at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday. SAPS spokesperson Khephu Ndlovu says that the suspect was granted R500 bail and was yet to report back to court.

Safa has announced Bafana Bafana's official Twitter handle is now @BafanaBafana. Safa released a statement on Saturday, which said: “Followers of Bafana Bafana on social media will be happy to know that the Twitter handle for the Men’s Senior National Team has been verified and there will no longer be any confusion as to which is the official account.The account was verified last week and in addition Bafana Bafana got their original handle - @BafanaBafana – back, thanks to the assistance of the Twitter team. The old handle @Bafana_Bafana1 will no longer be used and followers and supporters are encouraged to use the new account.”

Maritzburg United will be minus injured pair Ryan de Jongh and Deolin Mekoa when they face Absa Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs at Soccer City on 27 September. United revealed the news on their official website, with club general manager Quintin Jettoo going on to express confidence his side can upset the MTN8 finalists. The Team of Choice are sixth on the table with nine points from six games - nine points behind Amakhosi.

Polokwane City have completed the signing of former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Raymond Monama. The former Brazilians midfielder has signed a one-year contract with Rise and Shine and returns to Limpopo for a second spell after he played for Black Leopards a few years ago. The 25-year-old joined Sundowns at the beginning of the 2013/14 season, but was loaned out to University of Pretoria in January, making 14 League appearances last season. Monama was widely expected to join Mpumalanga Black Aces at the start of the season but after that fell through, it was revealed that he has now found a new club in Polokwane.

Banyana Banyana's record scorer Portia Modise is three strikes shy of reaching a century of goals for the national senior women's team. Modise registered her 97th goal in Banyana's 10–0 friendly thumping of Botswana last weekend. Meanwhile, Modise is hoping she can help Banyana qualify for the 2015 Fifa Women's World Cup by earning a top-three finish at the African Women's Championship, taking place in Namibia from 11–25 October. Banyana next play Cote d’Ivoire in a friendly at Moruleng Stadium on Wednesday, with kick-off at 15h00.

Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs is back at training after recovering from a leg injury but he is not yet ready to play. Josephs is still feeling pain and the club's doctors are closely monitoring his progress. Wits' number one sustained the knock in pre-season, with Rowen Fernandez doing duty between the sticks of late following Jackson Mabokgwane's departure to Mpumalanga Black Aces. The Students' next Absa Premiership fixture is at home against AmaZulu next week Friday.

South Africa have moved up two places to 67th in the latest Fifa rankings, released last Thursday. Bafana Bafana are now 14th in Africa, with Algeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Tunisia, Ghana and Senegal completing the top five on the continent. World champions Germany and beaten World Cup finalists Argentina remain the top two sides globally.
World top 10: Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, Uruguay, Spain, France, Switzerland.
Africa top 10: Algeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Tunisia, Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Cape Verde Islands, Cameroon, Guinea, Burkina Faso.

South African defender Ricardo Nunes has found a new home at Polish side Pogon Szczecin. The left-back joins the club on a one-year-deal. Nunes last played for Bulgarian side Levski Sofia last season. He has also had stints at numerous European clubs such as Slovak SuperLiga side MŠK Žilina and Cypriot club Aris Limassol.

Chippa United are not looking for a new coach, instead they will support Roger Sikhakhane in his new role. Last season Vladislav Heric led Chippa to the Premiership but was dismissed before the League campaign started, making way for Kosta Papic. It didn’t take long for Papic to leave the club stating that he was unhappy with the appointment of Mitch D’Avray as the technical director. Sikhakhane took charge on a caretaker basis and won his first match away to Moroka Swallows, now the club says they are not looking for a new coach. Chippa United are in 9th position on the log with seven points from six matches. Their next match is at home to Orlando Pirates before travelling away to face AmaZulu.

Maritzburg United have confirmed Morgan van Rooyen from the Nedbank Ke Yona team as part of their squad for this season. Van Rooyen won the hearts of many scouts during the Nedbank Cup game against Orlando Pirates played at Orlando Stadium recently. The Pretoria-born midfielder had been linked to a number of teams in the PSL including Polokwane City. However, Team of Choice manager Quinton Jetto confirms that Van Rooyen has been added to their books. "He is our player and has a contract with Maritzburg United," says Jetto. "In fact, he signed with us even before we released him for the Ke Yona team."

Black Leopards have shown their Northern Ireland coach Sean Connor the exit door just six weeks after appointing him. Connor has been fired before he even sat on the bench after a protracted wait for the issuing of his work permit. According to a source Assistant coach Ashwin Sutton will now take over as caretaker coach with the assistance of Solly Luvhengo. Club boss David Thidiela showed Connor the door yesterday as he wasn’t impressed with the Northern Irishman who was recruited in July after a spell with Zimbabwean club CAPS United.

Orlando Pirates have completed the signing of former Bidvest Wits striker Letsie Koapeng. The
striker signed a three-year-deal. Koapeng joins Thamsanqa Gabuza, Lehlohonolo Majoro, Kermit Erasmus and Lennox Bacela in Bucs strike force this season.

The Peter Mokaba Stadium will host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between South Africa and Congo Brazzaville on October 15; kick-off is at 20h05. But before the Polokwane clash, South Africa will travel to the Point Noire Stadium for a meeting with Congo (Brazzaville) on October 10. That encounter is scheduled to kick-off at 15h30. The Point Noire match will be Bafana Bafana’s third in the qualifiers following clashes with Sudan whom they crushed 3-0 and Nigeria (0-0). Next week coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba is expected to announce his squad for the Congo clashes. After two qualifiers, Bafana lie second in Group A with four points from two games while Congo is leading the pack with six points following wins over Sudan and Nigeria. The Super Eagles are third with one point, while Sudan are bottom of the table with no points.

Milano United's Deniro Stanley says he's settling in well at his new club after joining from Santos at the beginning of the season. The Durban-born striker followed Nasief Morris, Ricardo Skippers and Lee Langeveldt to Eezy My Kinnes, making his debut in the 3-0 victory over Jomo Cosmos last weekend as a second-half substitute. The 22-year-old explained that the club's style of play was a big draw card when deciding to join the team. Stanley aims to score at least 10 goals this term, while he harbours dreams of playing for South Africa in the near future.

SA players abroad 
Mayambela came off the bench for Djurgarden as they continued their excellent run of form with a 4-0 victory over Kalmar. His team have now won five of their last six games and remarkably have scored four times in four of those matches, making them one of the most potent attacking forces in the league in recent weeks. Mayambela has been a part of that, albeit off the bench. Xolani Mdaki did not get any game-time as the defensive midfielder waits for his Swedish league bow.

Bafana discard Mahlangu played another full 90 minutes for Gothenburg as they beat Gefle 4-0 to move to within eight points of the leaders. They are in fourth place in the Allsvenskan standings.
Kamohelo Mokotjo, who was in the last squad but did not see game-time, played for Dutch side FC Twente as they defeated Heracles 4-1 to continue a good run of form. And Serero started for Ajax Amsterdam as they won 1-0 at rivals Feyenoord to move to second in the League as they look to retain their title again this year.

It was a pretty awful afternoon for Darren Keet on Sunday as his struggling Kortrijk side were thumped 5-0 by Club Brugge in Belgium, while there was no place in the match-day squad for Ayanda Patosi as Lokeren won 3-2 against Mechelen.

Anele Ngcongca was on the winning side on Saturday as his side Genk recorded a victory for only the second time in the League this season as they began life under new Scottish manager Alex McLeish. The Bafana defender has missed just one of the eight league encounters of the campaign in what has been a tumultuous start which included their previous manager being fired after just the first game of the campaign.

Jali’s Oostende came back down to earth after their recent run of form and were beaten 3-1 at home by Gent. They slip down to fourth.

In England, Kagisho Dikgacoi and Tokelo Rantie remain injured but Furman was back in the Doncaster Rovers’ line-up and played in their first home win over the season as they beat Chesterfield 3-2 on Saturday. He had been left out last week after arriving back exhausted by national team duty.

Steven Pienaar was again missing through injury as Everton were stunned 3-2 at home by lowly Crystal Palace.

Lebogang Phiri was a second half substitute as his Danish side Brondby lost 1-0 at FC Copenhagen.