Local News - Issue 243




AmaZulu Continue To Strengthen By Signing Ntuli
AmaZulu have confirmed the signing of Mamelodi Sundowns striker Bongi Ntuli in order to help the club climb the PSL standings. According to a statement on the club's website, Usuthu have secured Ntuli along with Roscoe Pietersen and veteran Mbulelo Mabizela. “Steve Barker’s AmaZulu squad has received a boost with the arrival of experienced defenders Roscoe Pietersen, acquired from Supersport United, free agent Mbulelo Mabizela and striker Bongi Ntuli from Mamelodi Sundowns on a loan deal. The trio’s deals were finalized on Thursday afternoon at the club’s Durban North offices. Both Mabizela (34) and Ntuli (23) have been tied to six month deals, while 25-year-old Pietersen joins on an 18 month loan deal.”

SuperSport United have made a cheeky bid to sign Orlando Pirates target Tshepo Gumede from Platinum Stars. Gumede will leave Dikwena before the close of the transfer window after turning down the club's offer of a new contract, and Pirates had been expected to land their man last week. However, Gumede is now caught between signing for Pirates or Matsatsantsa, who have since made a lucrative offer to the defender. Gumede himself has said: "I have not yet made a decision but definitely before the transfer window period ends I will know where I will be playing next season."

Polokwane City have rejected a bid for Puleng Tlolane from SuperSport United. The striker is also reportedly on the radar of Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, but United are the only side to make an offer, according to a source at Matsatsantsa. Tlolane is joint-top of the PSL's scoring charts with eight goals this season, the same tally as Free State Stars hitman Moeketsi Sekola.

Moroka Swallows boss Leon Prins says the club’s fans can expect more new names following the arrival of Luyolo Nomandela. Thee midfielder’s has made a loan move from Mamelodi Sundowns to the Birds. And Prins says one or two more players could join Nomandela at Dobsonville. “There are one or two things happening which are not finalized yet. We’ve had quite a few trialists, and there’s one little striker that we think looks the part. I obviously don’t want to give names away, but there is a lot happening. Not crazy action; we are focusing more on what we have and the team has been working very hard in terms of fitness, intensity and so on.” It also seems likely that Swallows will offer veteran striker Siyabonga Nomvete a new deal, with the 37-year-old’s current contract expiring in June. “We are certainly considering [extending his stay],” Prins adds. “He is playing well at the moment and I think he is keen to keep on playing. He’s a completely clean-living guy who doesn’t drink or smoke, he’s fit, and he certainly still adds a lot of value.”

Highly regarded goalkeeper coach Rainer Dinkelacker says he jumped at the opportunity to return to Kaizer Chiefs. Amakhosi confirmed Dinkelacker's appointment following the resignation of his German compatriot Dennis Rudel. Dinkelacker, who previously left the Glamour Boys at the end of 2013, is still in Germany as he awaits his work permit. "It's a pleasure to come back and coach the goalies,” Dinkelacker told Chiefs' official website. “When Bobby [football manager Motaung] asked me to come back, there was no doubt in my mind to accept it. I am still part of the family. I am looking forward to be there soon.” Dinkelacker first arrived at Naturena in 1999 with Muhsin Ertugral. He has earned praise for nurturing the skills of Itumeleng Khune, Brian Baloyi, Rowen Fernandez and Arthur Bartman throughout his years with the Soweto giants.

Mpumalanga Black Aces could lose striker Tendai Ndoro before the transfer deadline window closes on Friday. Ndoro is on the wanted list of both Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates, however a source close to the Zimbabwean striker revealed that his heart is with the Mighty Buccaneers and it would not come as a surprise if he finally put pen to paper at Parktown. The source further revealed that Ndoro had a meeting with the club management on Monday where was officially informed about the offer from one of the big teams in the PSL. "He didn't train with the rest of the players today,” the source revealed. “He was called into the office to discuss the offer from one of the big teams.” Ndoro has five goals in 15 starts for AmaZayoni, who currently lie ninth in the PSL standings.

It is now only a matter of time before Punch Masenamela gets his wish to leave Mamelodi Sundowns in the current transfer window. The former Kaizer Chiefs defender is pushing for an exit and according to a source, the latest is that talks between the club and his representative Jazzman Mahlakgane have been positive.

The new Castle SuperStars team thumped NFD side Highlands Park 5-2 at the Balfour Alexandra Football Club grounds in their first practice match on Thursday. The goals were scored by University of Free State striker Dylan O’Brian, Eleven Experience striker Bongumusa Mabuza from Mpumalanga, Dawny Makgatho from Bafullo United in Limpopo, Tshepo Mokhabi from Free State side Thabang Youngsters and Christoffer Ballie from Northern Cape’s Celtic United. Castle Lager Football Academy coaches Neil Tovey and Phil Masinga expressed their satisfaction at the quality of football displayed. “This is the first time since we started the campaign two years ago that we are celebrating a win. This shows how the project has grown as the players know they have to give their best performance, and they come prepared when they are selected,” said Tovey. The players had only two days to prepare for the match as the squad was only trimmed from 45 players to 23 on Sunday evening.

Zimbabwean striker Kingston Nkhatha insists his decision to move to SuperSport United was influenced by a desire to secure his future rather than the criticism he took from Kaizer Chiefs fans. Nkhatha initially signed a pre-contract with SuperSport earlier this month before moving after the two clubs agreed terms over his immediate transfer. “As a footballer you need to know where your future is,” he says. “I mean, when someone comes with a three-year deal and the other comes with a one-year deal, what would you do? You will obviously choose the three-year deal because you will be securing your future. So my decision was based on that … securing my future. It is not like I ran away from pressure because for me each and every game I played for Chiefs there was pressure, but I kept on doing what the coach asked of me. Joining SuperSport had nothing to do with being booed, but rather securing my future because I am also a normal human being with a life to live and family to take care of. I have to plan my life and secure my future. If Chiefs had offered me a contract that secured my future then I would have stayed. I cannot blame the Chiefs fans because they always expect more from everyone who plays for Chiefs. It was always going to be difficult for me to leave a club where I have contributed towards the run of 18 games unbeaten, but in the end I had to secure my future. This was more about securing my future. I had to sit down with my family and discuss the offer from Chiefs and SuperSport. My family then said take your own decision and in the end I had to take the SuperSport decision to secure my future before anything else.”

National First Division side Royal Eagles have completed the signing of Veluyeke Zulu and Menzi 'Deco' Chili from Maritzburg United on loan until the end of the season. Defender Zulu and midfielder Chili are going there to gain experience as they have been unable to gain game-time at the Team of Choice this season. 

South Africa's national Under-20 team beat their Finnish counterparts 2-1 to lift the Commonwealth Cup in Russia. Pule Maraisane got the all important goal for David Notoane's team to cap off a very successful tour for Amajita and continue the 'feel good factor' currently sweeping the various national teams.
Amajita starting XI: Msibi, Seriba, Madisha, Modiba, Farmer, Luthuli, Leepile, Maraisane, Boikanyo, Ngubo, Masiya

Mamelodi Sundowns defender Rashid Sumaila has completed his loan move to Kuwaiti outfit Al Qadsia SC. The Ghanaian was on the verge of penning a five-month deal, and that has now been completed. Downs did not register the 22-year-old for the PSL this season as they exhausted their foreign quota. Sumaila made 23 appearances for the Brazilians last term.

Bloemfontein Celtic and Mamelodi Sundowns will play two friendlies at Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium in Botshabelo this weekend as they prepare for the resumption of the Absa Premiership next month. Phunya Sele Sele say they will also use the games to reassert their stance against gangsterism. Some fans were stabbed at the venue during a league clash with Polokwane City on October 19 last year. "We found it imperative to continue with our promise to fight gangsterism and we are appreciative that Sundowns has come on board as they are entrenched in communities and know the influence that sport on communities," Celtic chairman Max Tshabalala told his club's official website. "Both teams have lots of supporters across the country and in Botshabelo and that distinctively shows how vital this is for us. Regardless of any dimensional circumstances or any team that you support, gangsterism must be condemned with the contempt it deserves. It was not a publicity stunt that we took players and everyone associated with the team to express our dissatisfaction about the heinous crimes committed in that area. We encourage our supporters and other members of the community in other towns and townships affected by this syndrome to take a stand. These gangsters have the audacity to disrupt schooling and even prevent our kids from attending school." The teams will play on Saturday and Sunday, with both games kicking off at 15h30. Entry is free.

CAF has approved the qualifying format for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, and will name the host country for the event on April 8. The qualifiers for the 31st edition of the competition will start in June, and for the first time the host nation will participate in the process but are not at risk of elimination. CAF released a statement, part of which said: “The qualifiers for the 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations will begin in June 2015 using the two dates fixed by FIFA, 08-16 June. For the first time, the host country will participate in the qualifying stages; though the matches concerned will not be computed for points, they shall count as friendlies. Fifty-two teams will be engaged. They will be divided into 13 groups of 4 teams each. The first from each group shall qualify for the final stage, as well as the best two runners-up, exclusive of the group of the host country, which only one team will qualify. Also, if due to the withdrawal of one team and a group happens to be left with just three teams, this group will not be considered when determining the best second team.” The CAF executive committee has also approved the qualifying format for the 2018 World Cup, taking place in Russia. The qualifiers begin in October. “The competing teams will have to go through three preliminary rounds in order to bring the number of teams down to 20 so as to be able to constitute five groups of four teams, where the first from each group will qualifier for the World Cup. The preliminaries of the FIFA World Cup shall begin during the two FIFA dates in October 2015, given that the draws shall take place on 25 July 2015 at Saint-Petersburg in Russia.”

SuperSport United midfielder Morne Nel is on the brink of sealing a deal to English Premiership outfit Tottenham Hotspur. Nel joined Matsatsantsa in July 2013 from Old Mutual Academy and spent a few weeks training with Spurs in September that year. Now SuperSport, who have a partnership with the English side, are negotiating a transfer for the 18-year-old, though one of his former coaches say nothing is official just yet. “From what I understand there were negotiations going on between SuperSport United and Tottenham regarding Morne,” Roger Links said. “From what I know, it’s a question of SuperSport United agreeing with Tottenham.” Nel has been slowly been working his way up through the SuperSport ranks. According to Links, who played for Bafana Bafana in the early years, the young midfielder wouldn’t struggle in Europe given a chance. “In my opinion, Nel will do exceptionally well in Europe. I’ve been involved with development for over 12 years now and I know it when a player can cut it in big leagues.” If Nel does make the move, he will be the fourth South African to play for Spurs after 'OJ' Mabizela, Steven Pienaar and Bongani Khumalo.

SuperSport United have loaned Andile Fikizolo to Golden Arrows. The 20-year-old joined Matsatsants at the start of the season from Thanda Royal Zulu on a three-year-deal, having made a name for himself when he scored a brace against Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup. However he has struggled for game-time in Tshwane, and with the arrivals of Kingston Nkhatha and Jeremy Brockie, it looks even bleaker.

SA players abroad: Thulani Serero, Ayanda Patosi and Kamohelo Mokotjo all made their mark for their respective clubs in Europe on the weekend. The trio were notable absentees when Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim Mashaba named his squad for the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.

THULANI SERERO
Serero was the best player on the park for Ajax Amsterdam in a 0-0 draw with bitter rivals Feyenoord that leaves them six points back from leaders PSV Eindhoven.

KAMOHELO MOKOTJO
Kamohelo Mokotjo got an assist as FC Twente bounced back with a 2-0 win over Heracles in the Dutch League.

AYANDA PATOSI
Ayanda Patosi starred for Belgian top-flight side Lokeren as they finally got a win, beating Mechelen 1-0. He got an assist for the goal and gave an all-round lively display.

MICHAEL TRAVIS
Travis started for third-tier Forfar Athletic as they won 1-0 at Stirling Albion to stay second and in the hunt for promotion.

DEVON JACOBS
Devon played for Berwick Rangers in their 4-2 loss at Annan Athletic in the Scottish fourth tier, a blow to their promotion hopes.

KEAGHAN JACOBS, KYLE JACOBS, BURTON O’BRIEN

The trio all started in the Livingston’s 5-1 thumping of Dumbarton away from home, with Keaghan scoring a screamer from 30 yards for the fourth goal. The win should be a boost in confidence for the side who are bottom of the Scottish Championship but now just three points off the relative safety of the relegation play-off position, and a further point back from absolute salvation.