Local News - Issue 235

Mashaba Named Coach Of The Year
Bafana Bafana boss Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba was named Coach of the Year at the 2014 SA Sports Awards, while Banyana Banyana striker Portia Modise was also honoured on Sunday night. Mashaba - whose Bafana charges claimed Nelson Mandela Challenge honours earlier in the day - beat off competition from Swimming South Africa's Graham Hill and Springbok Sevens tactician Neil Powell for the prize. Shakes was rewarded primarily for supervising Bafana's qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations, taking place in Equatorial Guinea from January 17 to February 8. Mashaba also safely guided the national Under-20 team to a spot at the 2015 African Youth Championships in Senegal before returning to the Bafana hotseat in September. Modise was named Sports Star of the Year after she scored her 100th international goal in Banyana's 5-1 win over Algeria at the African Women's Championship in Namibia last month. Meanwhile, Ajax Cape Town defender Rivaldo Coetzee missed out on the Newcomer of the Year accolade. Gezelle Magermann won the category ahead of fellow track athlete Wayde van Niekerk and Coetzee.

The Premier Soccer League conducted the National First Division qualification draw for the Nedbank Cup. The eight NFD winners will join eight SAFA clubs and 16 PSL clubs to form the Last 32 for South Africa’s version of the FA Cup. The qualification matches will kick-off on the 9-10 December.

Jomo vs Cape Town All Stars
Highlands Park vs Vasco da Gama
Maluti FET vs Royal Eagles
African Warriors vs Garankuwa United
Thanda Royal Zulu vs Santos
Golden Arrows vs Milano United
Black Leopards vs Witbank Spurs
FC Cape Town vs Baroka FC

Bongani Zungu and David Zulu scored either side of the break as Bafana Bafana deservedly beat Ivory Coast 2-0 in the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge at Mbombela Stadium on Sunday. Both countries - who used the game as part of their preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations - fielded experimental sides as the fixture fell outside the Fifa calendar, meaning clubs were not obliged to release their players for it.

Polokwane City, University of Pretoria and Chippa United – those are the three teams currently leading the Absa Premiership Q2 standings.
Rise and Shine are three points clear of the chasing pack after three wins and a draw. Orlando Pirates can join four teams in second place on seven points should they win their game in hand, which will put them a point of Kaizer Chiefs, who cruised to Q1 honours. Platinum Stars only have three points, though they have played two games less than most. Propping up the bottom of the standings, unsurprisingly, are Free State Stars and AmaZulu, who have only managed one point apiece.

Four Kaizer Chiefs and two Orlando Pirates players will miss the Soweto Derby on Saturday if they pick up another yellow card in the midweek round of Absa Premiership games. For the Amakhosi, who face a tough trip to Bidvest Wits, three midfielders in George Maluleka, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Willard Katsande are walking the tightrope, as is left-back Tsepo Masilela. For the Buccaneers, Thabo Qalinge and Daine Klate will miss the Derby should they receive one more caution.

South African striker Fagrie Lakay says he is proud after becoming South Africa’s youngest-ever player following his debut in Bafana Bafana’s 2-0 win over Ivory Coast. The 17-year-old Santos forward came on in the 76th minute of the Nelson Mandela Challenge against the Elephants, breaking the record recently set by Ajax Cape Town’s Rivaldo Coetzee as the youngest ever player to wear the national jersey for Bafana. The young teenager revealed his parents were the first people he called after rewriting South Africa’s history books. Lakay revealed that playing in the Mandela Challenge was a special moment for him especially, being a “born-free”. Lakay was an integral member of the South Africa U-20 side that secured their passage to the 2015 CAF African Youth Championship, and became the first of that team to earn a senior national cap. Lakay also revealed his gratitude to coach Shakes Mashaba for affording him this opportunity.

Moroka Swallows boss Leon Prins says he "will talk at some stage" with Siyabonga Nomvete about his future at Dobsonville Stadium. Nomvete's contract expires at the end of the season, with the veteran striker no longer a guaranteed starter in the team as he approaches his 37th birthday. However, 'Bhele' reasserted his value with a late brace in struggling Swallows' dramatic 2-1 win at Maritzburg United last week for his first goals of the campaign. Caretaker coach Fani Madida was likewise non-committal when asked if Nomvete would have his stay extended in Soweto. The Dube Birds, who are 13th on the log with 13 points from 12 matches, next host second-placed Ajax Cape Town on Wednesday.

South African attackers Lovers Mofokeng and Manqoba ‘Shakes’ Ngwenya are impressing in the beMOBILE Botswana Premier League as they are just a goal behind the division's leading two scorers. Playing for unfancied Satmos FC in Selibe Phikwe, the 26-year-old Mofokeng from Rustenburg has six strikes to his name after 12 rounds of league action - the same tally as Ngwenya of log leaders Township Rollers. There are three players in total on six goals, while two players are above them with seven strikes each. They are Sageby Sandaka of BMC and Jerome Louis from Rollers. Mofokeng’s business manager, Kabelo Sibiya, took the striker to Botswana after he impressed in a tournament there and won himself a two-year contract. Prior to joining Satmos, Mofokeng had played for Orbit Fet FC in Safa’s Second Division in the North West. Satmos are currently 10th on the log with 14 points, while Rollers have 30 points.

Supporters will be able to buy the new Bafana Bafana jersey to be used at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations on December 11. There was talk that the jersey would be launched last week, but Nike communications manager Seruscka Naidoo has spoken out: “The official reveal of the new kit will be made in the upcoming days. The new jersey will be available in retail from 11 December.”

Orlando Pirates fullback Thabo Matlaba and striker Lehlohonolo 'Major' Majoro are back in contention for Pirates’ Absa Premiership clash with Maritzburg United at FNB Stadium. Matlaba - who last played against Chippa United on 27 September - has missed Bucs' previous seven games after sustaining an Achilles injury on the eve of Bafana Bafana's Afcon qualifier with Congo on 15 October. Patrick Phungwayo has impressed in Matlaba's absence at left-back, with the former also putting in an accomplished display in Bafana's 2-0 win over Ivory Coast in the Nelson Mandela Challenge on the weekend. However, Matlaba is available again, as is Majoro, who sat out his team's last two matches with an ankle complaint.

SuperSport United have decided against signing Honduran striker Junior Sandoval and Ivorian midfielder Adriel D'avila Ba Loua. The pair were on trial at the club, but have been unable to win the favour of head coach Gordon Igesund. "We are not signing them and they have since gone back home," says Igesund, who guided Matsatsantsa to Telkom Knockout honours on the weekend at the expense of Platinum Stars.
Senzo Meyiwa has made the five-man shortlist for the Africa-based African Player of the Year award, while Yaya Toure and Asamoah Gyan are amongst those vying for CAF's top individual prize. The late Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper - who was fatally shot on October 26 - is up against Algeria and ES Setif pair Akram Djahnit and El Hedi Belamieri, Firmin Mubel Ndombe of Congo and AS Vita, and Tunisia and CS Sfaxien's Fakhereddine Ben Youssef for honours. CAF will announce the winner at a ceremony in Lagos on 8 January. Meanwhile, Ivorian midfielder Toure and Ghanaian striker Gyan have made the five-man shortlist for the 2014 African Footballer of the Year award. The others to make the cut are Nigerian duo Vincent Enyeama and Ahmed Musa, and Gabonese forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. In the women's version of the award, Banyana Banyana legend Portia Modise - who was recognised at the SA Sports Awards - will battle Nigerians Asisat Oshoala and Desire Oparanozie, Annette Ngo Ndom of Cameroon, and Zenatha Coleman of Namibia for honours.

Thuso Phala scored an extra-time winner as SuperSport United were crowned 2014 Telkom Knockout champions after a 3-2 victory over Platinum Stars at Orlando Stadium on Saturday. Phala's 111th-minute strike separated the sides after 120 minutes of football that included two penalties scored and one saved. Daniels scored the two spot-kicks and Eleazar Rodgers missed one, while the other goals were scored by Robert Ng'ambi and Mogokolodi Ngele. SuperSport held on to be crowned 2014 Telkom Knockout champions and handed coach Gordon Igesund his first cup trophy since his 2000 BP Top 8 win with Orlando Pirates.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed, through SAFA, the names of the South African clubs participating in this year’s CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup. Reigning Absa Premiership champions, Mamelodi Sundowns and runners ups, Kaizer Chiefs will play in the CAF Champions League. Nedbank Cup winners, Orlando Pirates and third place finishers in the ABSA Premiership, Bidvest Wits, will participate in the Confederation Cup.

Following the selection of 45 players during the third season of the Castle Lager Football Academy, chief scouts Neil Tovey and Philemon Masinga have both hailed the campaign. The players were selected by scouts from nine provinces throughout the year and the squad was announced in Milpark, Johannesburg on Monday. Klaas-Jan Top from North West, Calvin Petersen from KwaZulu-Natal and Simon Nare from Mpumalanga were among the scouts who helped Masinga and Tovey to select South Africa’s finest youth talent in Castle Lager's campaign to build a Better Bafana Bafana in the future. To the man famously known as Chippa in his heyday, Masinga has praised the scouting process and the initiative by Castle Lager. The 45 players from all provinces are set to converge for training sessions at Wits University’s education campus in Parktown, Johannesburg in January 2015. They will be trained under the watchful eyes of Tovey and Masinga after which the final 23 players will be chosen.

Dean Furman may be a key figure for South Africa, having captained the national side from midfield in recent internationals against Sudan and Nigeria, but he has been told to fight for his place at English third-tier side Doncaster Rovers. The 26-year-old has faced a spell on the bench each time he has returned from international duty and, given that he will be missing for up to four weeks for Rovers in January and February while competing at the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, his club coach Paul Dickov has recently changed the whole shape of the team – reverting back to a more traditional 4-4-2 in Furman’s absence. While Furman is a deep-lying midfielder for Bafana Bafana, he is used in a far more advanced role just behind the strikers at his club side, however Dickov says Furman must now earn his place in the team.

Bafana Bafana striker Tokelo Rantie is expected to be out for six weeks with a dislocated shoulder and faces a race against time to be fit for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. Rantie sustained the injury while playing for club side Bournemouth in a match against Ipswich Town in the English Championship. The 24-year-old’s injury casts doubt over his chances of featuring for South Africa in the Africa Cup of Nations between January 17 and February 8. Rantie recently scored a brace to help South Africa earn a 2-2 draw against Nigeria in the final round of the 2015 Afcon qualifiers.

Bafana Bafana are on the verge of breaking into the world’s top 50 after jumping six places in the latest FIFA World Rankings. Shakes Mashaba’s boys, who jumped 10 places last month, have now moved to 51st in the world after their victory over Sudan to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and an away draw in Nigeria. Bafana have also moved one spot in Africa to 11th. 

Top 10 [World]: Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Netherlands, Brazil, Portugal, France, Spain and Uruguay. 

Top 10 [Africa]: Algeria, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ghana, Guinea, Cape Verde Islands, Cameroon, Nigeria and Mali.

National First Division club FC Cape Town is in the market, with chairman Errol Dicks having decided to sell the club after being diagnosed as a diabetic. Currently in fifth position on the log standings with 17 points after 12 matches and seven points behind leaders Golden Arrows, Dicks has called on “serious prospective buyers” to invest in the club. “I have unfinished business in football and I will continue serving you the footballer as a mentor and facilitator in achieving your European dreams. All SERIOUS prospective buyers, please submit all enquiries to the Chairman of FC Cape Town via email: info@fccapetown.com,” said Dicks.

Ruzaigh Gamildien is keeping fit at the Old Mutual Football Academy awaiting the opening of the January transfer window after resolving all outstanding issues with former employers AmaZulu. Gamildien was dismissed by Usuthu at the end of last month following ‘misconduct-related issues’ and is now back home in Cape Town plotting his way forward. The 25-year-old says that he is not going to direct his energy towards Usuthu where he was initially demoted to train with the club’s feeder team, then brought back to the first team in mid-October when Wilfred Mugeyi became caretaker boss before being fired two weeks later for what was said to be ‘off-field antics’. He had been signed by AmaZulu from Bloemfontein Celtic in January.

Wilfred Mugeyi is no longer involved with AmaZulu's senior side, according to the club's team manager Japhet Zwane. Mugeyi was coaching Usuthu in a caretaker capacity prior to Steve Barker's appointment to the hotseat. And it appears as if Mugeyi - who took over the reins following Craig Rosslee's sacking on October 15 - will now be deployed elsewhere.

SA players abroad
Dean Furman came off the bench to help League One side Doncaster Rovers to a disappointing 1-1 draw with bottom side Crewe Alexandra.
Andile Jali played for KV Oostende in their 0-0 draw at Mechelen after his red card from two weekends back was rescinded.
Darren Keet was back in goals for Kortrijk following his suspension the weekend prior and helped his side to a 2-0 away win at Standard Liege to move up to fourth in the Belgian league.
Kamohelo Mokotjo endured a disappointing weekend as his FC Twente side lost 2-1 at Groningen in the Dutch league.
Anele Ngcongca was at right-back for Genk in their 1-0 win over Cercle Brugge.
Kgosi Ntlhe played for Peterborough United as their dismal run continued with a fifth defeat in their last six league games to slip from second to ninth. This time it was Bristol City doing the damage with a 3-0 win.
Ayanada Patosi came on late in Lokeren’s 1-1 draw with Lierse on Sunday, having been rested after a number of starts in recent weeks.
Bafana’s key playmaker Thulani Serero started for Ajax Amsterdam as they were held to a 1-1 draw at ADO Den Haag on Sunday.
Siyanda Xulu lasted just 23 minutes of his first start in two months before being taken off in FC Rostov’s 1-1 home draw with Amkar.