Local News - Issue 238

Chiefs Snap Up Striker Zulu From Chippa
Kaizer Chiefs are set to officially unveil their new signing David Zulu this week. Zulu has been sold to Amakhosi in a deal believed to be R4 million by Chippa United. The former Black Leopards striker has signed a three-and-a-half year contract with the Phefeni Glamour Boys. Chilli Boys boss Chippa Mpengesi has confirmed that Zulu has been sold. Zulu played his last game for Chippa in their 2-1 loss to SuperSport United on Sunday afternoon.

AmaZulu coach Steve Barker has ruled out signing Ugandan striker Geofrey Massa from his former club University of Pretoria.
Massa, who is third on the PSL top scorers list with seven goals, has been linked with a move to Usuthu in the January transfer window. However, Barker insists there is no substance to such talk. Meanwhile, Barker is naturally concerned his side enter the season break propping up the league standings with nine points from 16 games - eight points shy of closest team Platinum Stars.

Bidvest Wits midfielder Liam Jordan will be registered for the club's senior team during the January transfer window as he edges closer to his topflight debut.
The talented 16-year-old, who is the son of former Bafana Bafana striker Keryn Jordan, has been under the watchful eye of head coach Gavin Hunt all season and has enjoyed training stints with Manchester United and Sunderland. But his time for first team action is very close now as he gets ready to wear jersey number 34 in the Clever Boys' senior team. With South Africa's Under-17 and U-20 sides getting ready for major tournaments in Africa next year, Jordan will have a great opportunity to put himself in contention for international recognition.

South Africa’s U-17 and U-20 sides will have their work cut out for them at their respective championships next year. The draw for both African showpiece events took place on Sunday, which pitted the South African sides against the best on the continent. Amajimbos, who are coached by Molefi Ntseki, face Ivory Coast, Mali and Cameroon in the U-17 CAF Championships to be hosted in Niger, while Amajita, led by Thabo Senong, have been drawn alongside Mali, Zambia and Ghana for next year’s tournament in Senegal.

Full draw:
CAF U/17 Championships
Group A:
Niger, Nigeria, Guinea, Zambia
Group B:
South Africa, Mali, Ivory Coast, Cameroon
CAF U/20 Youth Championship
Group A:
Senegal, Nigeria, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire
Group B:
South Africa, Mali, Ghana, Zambia

The U-17 championships are scheduled for 15 February to 1 March 2015, with qualification for the World Cup finals at stake, which will take place in Chile over the months of October and November. The Under-20 finals in Senegal will take place from 8-22 March 2015, with the top four teams in that tournament in West Africa proceeding to the Under-20 World Cup, to be staged in New Zealand from May 30-June 20.

Ajax Cape Town goalkeeper Brandon Petersen has been ruled out of action for the rest of the season after breaking his leg during the Absa Premiership match against Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday. Petersen was rushed to hospital after he collided with Sundowns striker Anthony Laffor in the 16th minute of the match played at the Lucas Moripe Stadium yesterday. Laffor has escaped serious injury suffering only mild concussion. The Brazilians went on to beat the Urban Warriors 2-1 after Anssi Jaakkola was substituted on in place of the severely injured Petersen.

Mpumalanga Black Aces coach Clive Barker says he is in the market for at least three players especially central defenders following the departure of Mbulelo Mabizela. OJ’s contract was cancelled last week after a fall out with Barker. Amazayoni have conceded 21 goals in 17 League games this season and the former Bafana Bafana coach is looking to bolster his defence. Aces were one of the busiest teams in the last transfer window with around 15 new signings.

Orlando Pirates caretaker coach Eric Tinkler says the club will definitely delve into the transfer market during the January window. The Buccaneers will be stretched in 2015 as they continue their pursuit of Absa Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs, and also head into Africa in the CAF Confederations Cup. Speaking after Pirates’ 2-1 win against Bloemfontein Celtic, Tinkler admitted they are short in a few areas, particularly the goalkeeping department, and will make moves during the January window.

Shakes Mashaba has announced his preliminary Bafana Bafana squad for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. There is no place for the fit again Itumeleng Khune, while in-form Kaizer Chiefs teammates Tsepo Masilela and Tefu Mashamaite also miss out. There is also no place for Orlando Pirates strikers Kermit Erasmus and Lehlohonolo Majoro, or Dutch-based star Kamohelo Mokotjo. Vuyisile Wana, Siyabonga Mpontshane and Asavele Mbekile make the list, despite not being regulars at their respective clubs.

Goalkeepers: Darren Keet, Jackson Mabokgwane, Siyabonga Mpontshane, Brilliant Khuzwayo.
Defenders: Siyabonga Nhlapo, Patrick Phungwayo, Anele Ngconcga, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Kwanda Mngonyama, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Mulomowandau Mathoho, Rivaldo Coetzee, Thabo Matlaba, Mzikayise Mashaba.
Midfielders: Themba Zwane, Andile Jali, Asavele Mbekile, Vuyisile Wana, Jabulani Shongwe, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Bongani Zungu, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Dean Furman, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Oupa Manyisa, Mondi Cele, Mandla Masango, Thulani Serero, Thuso Phala.
Strikers: Ayanda Patosi, Bernard Parker, David Zulu, Tokelo Rantie, Bongani Ndulula.

Mondli Cele has gone from playing third-tier football with Gamalakhe United on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast to a Bafana Bafana call-up in a little more than six months. After impressing in a Nedbank Cup game against NFD outfit Santos last season, Cele caught the eye of Maritzburg United coach Steve Komphela. He signed with Maritzburg at the start of the 2014/15 PSL season, has played all 16 league games for them since, and on Thursday was the surprise inclusion in coach Shakes Mashaba’s provisional 34 man squad that will do battle at next year’s Afcon in Equatorial Guinea. The 25-year-old winger has been instrumental in Maritzburg’s success so far this season with his pace, work-rate, strength and skill all contributing towards what has been the most successful season of his career. There is a good chance that Cele won’t go to Afcon, given that the squad will be trimmed down to 23 after a five-day training camp in Johannesburg beginning on December 26. But this is an achievement in itself and, given the year he has had, there is no reason for Cele to give up now.

Maritzburg United coach Steve Komphela has responded to reports that he is amongst the frontrunners to take over the vacant Orlando Pirates hotseat. The Buccaneers are on the lookout for a new coach following Vladimir Vermezovic’s resignation last month, and once again Komphela’s name has come up. Asked about the rumours, Komphela was very philosophical, saying: “You know, the difficult part of no comment is that it leaves a lot for comment, and the easiest part of commenting opens a lot for discussions. “I will draw back on what I said when I was at Free Stars and there was a lot of rumors and speculations. I said: “Any response to any speculative question is very pre-emptive, so any response to that is equally pre-emptive.” When asked if he has received anything from Pirates, Komphela continued: "I didn't say that. Not unless you want me to say that. Any response to any speculative question, if you respond to any speculative question, you are starting to pre-empt.

Tshepo Gumede says he is happy to stay at Platinum Stars, despite reported interest from both Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates. The 23-year-old’s contract with Dikwena expires in June next year, but says that he would happy sign a new deal.

South African-born defender Siyanda Xulu is set to have a new boss when he returns back to Russia after his club FC Rostov appointed coach Kurban Berdyev. The former Rubin Kazan coach replaces Igor Gamula, who has since returned back to the club’s youth academy. Gamula was recently slapped with a 5-match ban after he passed racist remarks towards African players, which also forced Xulu to boycott the club's training. Meanwhile, Xulu’s agent Paul Mitchel has ruled out any possibility of his client returning to the PSL this season.

Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba has issued a strong statement to reveal his aim to go all out and lift the 2015 Africa Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea. Last Thursday Mashaba announced a 34-man preliminary squad to assess before submitting his final 23-man squad by 2 January, 15 days before the final showpiece kicks off in Bata. ‘Shakes’ was placidly confident about Bafana Bafana’s chances of lifting their second continental title, despite being named in a tough group alongside Ghana, Algeria and Senegal. “Winning the cup – that’s our chances,” said Mashaba. “For a long time, whenever we go into these competitions, we talk about whether we can go to the semi-finals or to the next round. “We are going to fight to go right through, up to the final – that’s what we want to see,” he added. The former Amajita mentor has reassured that his plan is to compete for honours, and that the players he has selected will have it etched into their heads that the aim is to go and win.

Former Orlando Pirates coach Owen Da Gama has been appointed as South Africa’s Under-23 head coach. Safa president Danny Jordan announced the appointment of Da Gama as the U-23 mentor during the press conference held in Johannesburg on Friday. Thabo Senong, who also serves in the Bafana Bafana technical team, has been appointed as the Under-20 national team head coach. Safa spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi said both Da Gama and Senong will still remain as assistant coaches for Bafana Bafana.

Mamelodi Sundowns defender Bryce Moon has indicated his desire to move away from Mamelodi Sundowns during the January transfer window with struggling AmaZulu having raised a hand of interest. Moon is yet to play for the defending league champions this season and has made known his need for a move to his handlers, rather than be stuck in the mud at Chloorkop. Usuthu – struggling at the base of the Absa Premiership standings, without an experienced right-back since the departure of Bonginkosi Macala – are keen on bringing Moon back to his home province but will have to wait to hear from the Sundowns authorities if their wish would be granted. Moon has fallen so badly down the pecking order at Sundowns, the former Panathanaikos defender is now behind Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Rheece Evans and Siyanda Zwane for the right-back position. Mphahlele has been Mosimane’s preferred choice at right-back this season, with Zwane and Evans providing back up, while Moon – who started 22 games last season for Sundowns – is now almost forgotten.

Chippa United are set to face German side VfL Wolfsburg in a friendly match billed for Port Elizabeth in January.
Wolfsburg will arrive in the country next month for their mid-season camp and, according to Chippa COO Lukanyo Mzinzi, the game will take place at the Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth on January 18.

Former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Michael Nkambule is training with Maritzburg United with a view to earning a contract at the club. United coach Steve Komphela appears impressed with the 26-year-old's efforts to date. Nkambule, who once plied his trade in France, was recently working on his fitness at the Africa Sport Youth Development Academy after recovering from a knee injury earlier in the year. The ex-youth international turned out for Roses United in the National First Division last season, having also previously represented SuperSport United and Black Leopards.

Bafana Bafana will finish the year in 52nd spot following the release of the latest FIFA World Rankings. Shakes Mashaba’s boys jumped six places last month to 51st, but they won’t be breaking into the top 50 at least until the new year having gone down one place. Bafana have also dropped one spot in Africa from 11th to 12th. Africa’s number side remain Algeria, who are 18th in the world.

Top 10 [World]: Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Netherlands, Brazil, Portugal, France, Spain, Uruguay.
Top 10 [Africa]: Algeria, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ghana, Guinea, Cape Verde Islands, Cameroon, Nigeria, Zambia.
Meanwhile, Banyana Banyana, South Africa’s women national team, have dropped five spots from 51st to 56th in the world and they are Africa’s fifth best team according to the rankings.

Cape Town-born striker Ryan de Vries was denied his dream of facing Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in the Club World Cup Final as his side Auckland City bowed out in the semi-finals. City, the Oceania champions, lost 2-1 to Copa Libertadores holders San Lorenzo, with substitute Mauro Matos netting a stoppage-time winner for the Argentinians in Morocco last Thursday. San Lorenzo took the lead just before half-time through Pablo Barrientos but Angel Berlanga levelled matters midway through the second half.

Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Knowledge Musona has joined Belgian side KV Oostende from Germany’s Hoffenheim. Musona has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Oostende, who are also home to Bafana Bafana midfielder Andile Jali. The Zimbabwean forward moved to Hoffenheim from Chiefs in 2011, but has seen little game-time in the Bundesliga. Musona was loaned back to Chiefs last season and despite scoring 16 goals in 25 starts, he failed to break into Hoffenheim’s starting eleven and has now moved on to Oostende.

Mamelodi Sundowns defender Hichani Himoonde has expressed his desire to pursue his career back in the PSL following the expiry of his loan spell at Zambian champions ZESCO United. Himoonde was signed by Sundowns in January on a two-and-a-half-year contract but was then immediately loaned out – due to The Brazilians having exhausted their foreign quota – to his former club ZESCO on a deal that was supposed to run until June. It was later extended up to the end of the Zambian season, which has since been completed. When Himoonde’s loan was extended it was down to the fact that Sundowns still didn’t have foreign space for him to enable him to be registered and that remains the case up to now meaning that though he wants to return to South Africa he still cannot play for The Brazilians until the start of next season. Himoonde was used sparingly at ZESCO due to injury concerns. Though Himoonde was signed in January by Sundowns he has never played for the club and word is that if he is willing to take the club’s settlement of four months’ salary in January then he will be handed his clearance and allowed to move as a free agent. Himoonde is still in Zambia along with another Sundowns defender Emmanuel Mathias, who ZESCO are keen to retain for next season.

Kaizer Chiefs could be frustrated in their pursuit of Bongani Ndulula with news that the player could land a contract in Belgium. Amakhosi are apparently the front-runners for the Bafana Bafana striker’s services, with his contract at AmaZulu running out at the end of the season. Chiefs made enquiries as far back as September, and it is believed they are still keen to add the former Orlando Pirates man to their ranks, but Ndulula’s agent, Tim Sukazi, says overseas looks to be the next move. Ndulula has been a regular for Bafana under Shakes Mashaba, and scored two goals as the team qualified for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Mlungisi ‘Professor’ Ngubane has explained that his presence at Golden Arrows is not to be a ‘coach-in-waiting’ as he is not interested in Shaun Bartlett’s job. Ngubane is now the Arrows technical advisor – the same position that he held at fellow Durban-based First Division club Royal Eagles before walking out due to working conditions. Arrows are currently in third position, two points behind leaders Jomo Cosmos, at the halfway stage of the NFD season.

Striker Lethola Mofokeng has parted ways with Bloemfontein Celtic before even kicking a ball in the colours of Siwelele since rejoining in October. Mofokeng signed with Celtic almost 2 months ago, initially on a one-year contract with a two-year option to extend. However, shortly after the departure of coach Ernst Middendorp, club CEO Khumbulani Konco has confirmed that Mofokeng is no longer with Phunya Sele Sele.

Kaizer Chiefs defender Kgotso Moleko has signed a new two-year deal with the club. The right-back arrived at Naturena from Bloemfontein Celtic in 2012 and despite his limited game time over the past couple of years, the club believes the 25-year-old still has a role to play for the club in future hence the new deal. According to the player’s agent Tim Sukazi the new deal runs until June 2017. Moleko has made 16 starts since he arrived at Chiefs, including two this season.

South African players abroad
Kearyn Baccus played for Western Sydney Wanderers as they were beaten 5-4 on penalties by African champions ES Setif in the battle for fifth place at the FIFA Club World Cup.
South African-born Ryan De Vries helped New Zealand part-timers Auckland City to a shock bronze medal as they stunned Mexican side Cruz Azul with a penalty shoot-out victory in the third-place play-off in the Club World Cup. De Vries had given Auckland the lead in first half injury-time, but after the Mexicans equalised, the Kiwis won 4-2 on penalties.
Dean Furman started for League One Doncaster Rovers as they got a much-needed 1-0 win over high-flying Swindon Town to move six points clear of the relegation zone.
 Both Keaghan and Kyle Jacobs played for struggling Livingston as they lost 2-0 at Glasgow Rangers in the Scottish Championship. Livi now have just seven points from 17 matches this season and look odds-on for the drop.
Andile Jali overcame an early yellow card to put in a fine performance for KV Oostende as they defeated Cercle Brugge 2-0 to stay in the hunt for a top-six place and the championship playoffs at the end of the season.
Darren Keet played in Kortrijk’s 2-1 away win at Lokeren on Sunday that saw him not only beat compatriot Ayanda Patosi, but also helped move his side up to third in the table.
Kamohelo Mokotjo played for FC Twente as they won a see-saw battle 3-2 at home to Willem II. He laid on the first goal for his side.
Anele Ngcongca Started for Genk as they were thumped 4-1 by league leaders Club Brugge.
Kgosi Ntlhe had a poor game as Peterborough United lost 1-0 at home to Preston North End.
Nhlakanipho Ntuli started for Jong FC Twente as they lost 4-1 at Odd in the Dutch second division on Friday as they remain in the lower half of the table.
 Ayanda Patosi was replaced for the final 10 minutes as his Lokeren side lost to Kortrijk.
Steven Pienaar was an unused substitute for English Premiership side Everton as they were thumped 3-0 at Southampton
Thulani Serero played the full game for Ajax Amsterdam as they won 2-0 at home to Excelsior.