Local News - Issue 271

Mashamaite Joins Swedish Outfit
Swedish club BK Hacken have confirmed the signing of former Kaizer Chiefs defender Tefu Mashamaite on a two-and-half-year deal. Hacken, who are currently ninth on the 16-team Allsvenskan table after 18 games, announced the signing on their official website. “We are very proud that a player of his quality chose us. We have followed Tefu for a while and when the opportunity came up, there was no hesitation to sign him,” said sporting director Sonny Karlsson. “He is a left-footed player with a great understanding of the game, he is strong in the air and has been team captain, which is also an important piece of the puzzle.” The 30-year-old parted ways with Kaizer Chiefs following the expiry of his contract at the end of June and has been on a club search since, including a trip to the US where he trained with New York City. Mashamaite started 40 games for Amakhosi last season and was named the PSL Footballer of the Season.

Golden Arrows have reportedly re-signed Andile Fikizolo on loan until the end of season. The striker joined SuperSport United from Thanda Royal Zulu at the start of 2014/15, but spent the second half of the season on loan at Arrows, where his seven goals played a big part in their promotion from the First Division. But with Matsatsantsa having the likes of Jeremy Brockie, Kingston Nkhatha, Bradley Grobler and now Fagrie Lakay on their books, it was decided to give Fikizolo a chance of more regular game-time elsewhere. SuperSport have also loaned out defender Jino Moeketsi to Vasco da Gama and Thabo Moloi to AmaZulu.

Orlando Pirates coach Eric Tinkler insists he will not rest captain Oupa Manyisa unless the midfielder asks him to do so. ‘Ace’ has hardly had a break in three years, having played for the Buccaneers in CAF competitions and Bafana Bafana in international matches during the off-season. While there has been some fear that Manyisa could struggle for fatigue in the new season, Tinkler insists he is not planning to rest the midfielder, who has played more than 180 matches for the Buccaneers without proper rest in the last three years. “He will come and tell me when he needs a break. He doesn’t want a break now,” Tinkler said. “Against Sfaxien he told me ‘Coach, we are 2-0 up, let me have some rest’, so we pulled him off. But because this is the press, I'm not going to make any decision because you have a feeling that he needs to be rested. I spend every day with him, you don't. Look at a guy like Cristiano Ronaldo, how many matches he plays a season, but you never hear about fatigue.” 

Mamelodi Sundowns have handed Xolani Mdaki with his clearance to join Vasco da Gama. The 22-year-old midfielder, who had a short stint in Sweden with Djurgardens, has since joined the First Division side, having previously played for Santos. Mdaki had trials with Free State Stars last month.

Polokwane City coach Kosta Papic has explained the reason behind his absence during their opening league win over Bloemfontein Celtic at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday. Papic's absence from the bench with City raised eyebrows as the Serbian coach watched the game from the stands. Former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Nkueni Mayala sat on the bench as the Limpopo-based side beat Celtic by 3-2 during the exciting game at the Peter Mokaba Stadium. "It's the issue of the work permit. That was the only reason why I did not sit on the bench," Papic said. The Serbian coach expressed happiness at the way Rise and Shine played against Siwelele, and is hoping that his team will maintain consistency this season. It's a good start. I am happy with the way we started, and I hope we maintain the same [level of] performance throughout the season. We have set no target but to play good football and try to get good results as often as possible," adds Papic.

Orlando Pirates could complete the signing of Yasser Mugerwa this week, according to an official at the midfielder's club Uganda Revenue Authority. Mugerwa and Ugandan compatriot Saidi Kyeyune were recently on trial at Bucs, with the former impressing management at Mayfair. Kyeyune, however, has since returned to Kampala after failing to win the favour of Eric Tinkler and his technical team. URA general secretary Henry Mayeku confirmed the side is in talks with Pirates regarding the services of Mugerwa. “Kyeyune is back with the club. We hope to finalise the deal with Yasser with Pirates in the next five days," he added.

While Sfaxien's players were frustrated by Orlando Pirates' show-boating in their Confederation Cup clash, Bucs coach Eric Tinkler welcomes it provided it's used constructively. Sifiso Myeni was criticised by Sfax players for his tricks following Pirates' 2-0 victory on Saturday which leaves them strongly poised to reach the semi-finals of the competition. Thabo Rakhale is another Buccaneer that delights in entertaining the crowd with his nifty footwork, and Tinkler approves such play as long as it benefits the team. “I'm not going to make such a big deal out of it. I've always stated this before, as long as it is in the right areas and has positive reasons that will benefit the team,” Tinkler said. “They [Sfaxien] obviously didn't like it. It's Kasi flavour, they need to get used to that. But I've stated this before, as long as it is in the right areas, that's what is important.” Tinkler, meanwhile, was pleased with the result which lifted Pirates level with Egyptian giants Zamalek at the top of Group B with nine points from four games. Zamalek's 1-0 loss at AC Leopards on Sunday means the Congolese outfit still have a chance of advancing to the last-four. “It was important for us to collect three points to move to nine. That was the objective to get to nine points as quick as possible because I always felt that those points should be enough to get to the semis.”

Arsenal Academy of London won the 2015 Durban U-19 International Football Tournament after defeating PSV Eindhoven of Holland 2-1 in a hard-fought final on Saturday at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Goals from Ben Sheaf and Yassin Fortune on either side of the half were enough to give the Young Gunners victory in their maiden appearance at the tournament. Earlier in the day the South African U-19 team beat VFB Stuttgart of Germany 2-0 to claim bronze in the third/fourth place playoff. Masilake Phohlongo and Keletso Makgalwa scored in the 34th and 63rd minutes respectively, with the latter being named Man of the Match. The other teams that took part in the tournament were the KwaZulu-Natal Academy Team, Galatasary (Turkey), AC Milan (Italy), and Celtic (Scotland).  

Kagisho Dikgacoi played 77 minutes as Cardiff City were held to a 1-1 draw by Fulham on the opening day of the English Championship season. The Bafana Bafana midfielder hardly featured last season as he was hampered by injuries, but started alongside Peter Whittingham in central midfield against his former club.

Veteran midfielder, Lefa Tsutsulupa is looking for a new club, as Moroka Swallows have chosen not to offer him a new contract. The Birds are trimming their costs drastically following their relegation, and they have been forced to part ways reluctantly with players they would otherwise have kept under different circumstances. Had Swallows avoided relegation, Tsutsulupa might well have been offered a technical post, but now he is clubless. “The club didn't renew my contract – it was not my decision, it was the club's decision,” the 35-year-old former club captain said. “Of course I was interested to play in the NFD but unfortunately that will not happen. Sometimes you have to accept things. But I'm not going to give up on football as yet. I'm still looking to play football at another club. I still have what it takes to carry on playing football," Tsutsulupa insisted. The dreadlocked midfielder made close to 300 appearances during a decade with the club, and helped them win the Nedbank Cup in 2009 and the MTN8 in 2012. Tsutsulupa earned seven national team caps and also played for Bloemfontein Celtic and Jomo Cosmos; making his PSL debut in the 1999/2000 season.

Tokelo Rantie missed AFC Bournemouth's opening English Premier League game due to a family tragedy. Rantie was not in the Cherries' match-day squad for their game against Aston Villa, as there was a death in the family. The Bafana Bafana was in South Africa for the funeral. Bournemouth's next game in the Premier League will see them travel to Anfield next week Monday to take on Liverpool.

Polokwane City striker Puleng Tlolane will get a new car for being the club’s top scorer last season.  Rise and Shine boss Johnny Mogaladi made the offer live on Thobela FM last Thursday night after Tlolane finished 2014/15 with 11 goals in 21 starts.

South Africa’s hopes of making it to the knockout stages of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile later in the year have been given a boost after they received a good first round draw. Molefi Ntseki’s side have been pooled with North Korea, Costa Rica and Russia for the tournament, which will be played from October 17 to November 8. The team will play all their pool matches at the Estadio Municipal de ConcepciĆ³n in ConcepciĆ³n, starting with a clash against the Costa Ricans on October 19.  Three days later they face North Korea, before closing out their pool play with a match against Russia on October 25. They will need to finish in the top two in the pool to advance to the second round, or as one of the four best third-place finishers in the six-group competition. If they win the pool they will play the runner-up in Group D that contains Belgium, Mali, Honduras and Ecuador. If they finish second in their pool they take on the top team from Group F which includes France, New Zealand, Syria and Paraguay. South Africa are competing at the global finals in this age-group for the first time.

Golden Arrows have announced the signing of Ryan Chapman on loan from Bidvest Wits. The PSL returnees confirmed the news on their website, saying: “Abafana Bes’thende have signed forward, Ryan Chapman on a loan agreement from Bidvest Wits”. The striker spent last season on loan at SuperSport United last term.

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has explained the club’s decision not to sign former Moroka Swallows midfielder Lerato Chabangu. Chabangu joined Wits for the duration of their pre-season, with the hopes of impressing the technical team and landing a deal, after his former side were relegated to the National First Division. Despite training with The Clever Boys for over a month, and even joining them on their pre-season camp in Stellenbosch, Hunt says ‘Ace’s’ age was a factor he couldn’t overlook, especially with youth players coming through in the same positions. “I feel sorry for Lerato, because he trained with us. I and the club just felt that we need to give our youth a chance,” Hunt explained. “It’s unfortunate, because we’re in a position where we have Paseka [Sekese] (21), Phakamani [Mahlambi] (17), [Mosiatlhage] Abednego (20) and Vincent Pule (23), and they all play in the same area. I think it’s important that we put our faith in the youth, but it’s unfortunate [for Chabangu], you know.” The ex-Swallows coach also reveals that former SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Brent Carelse, who was on the books of Cape Town All Stars last season, was in a similar situation to Chabangu. “Brent trained with us [in Cape Town], but he’s in the same situation. I mean, I’d love to have Brent and Lerato because they’re clever, they know what to do. But Brent, obviously – same situation – same players I’ve mentioned in that same position, so it’s important to give our youth a chance. I think we’ve got very good youth players at the club, and they just need [time]… Like I did last season, we had seven or eight players in the team. I’ll do it again,” he adds.

Kwanda Mngonyama’s agent Tim Sukazi admits that the player’s current situation at Mamelodi Sundowns is of great concern and he is addressing the matter with the club. The South Africa Under-23 international was on loan at Maritzburg United where he started 24 games in all competitions in the past season, but he has returned to Chloorkop where he is not even training with the first team. Sukazi says his client’s situation is of national importance. “The issue of Kwanda Mngonyama is of serious concern not only to me and Kwanda but also to SAFA’s national agenda of having our U23s qualify for the Olympics, which will in turn be of great benefit to the country,” Sukazi explained.  “We cannot have a situation where we have the current captain of the U23s, which just qualified for the CAF 8-Nations tournament, not playing football. It is not only that Kwanda is not playing football for his club, Mamelodi Sundowns, in fact, he is not even training with Sundowns’ first team. He is just training with a few other players who are training separately while the club looks at dishing them out to other clubs. Kwanda told me that their training is not even of high intensity or anything to make it a top-level training. He says the few guys are just being taken through their paces as a formality, which will obviously see them being eligible for their monthly salary. So basically these players are just being eroded mentally and their self-esteem will be severely affected to a point where it might take them time to recover, even if they find alternative clubs. Sukazi further says there are in fact three clubs interested in signing the player, but Sundowns have rejected offers of over R2-million. “In Kwanda’s case, you have three clubs interested in him, namely, Maritzburg United, Bidvest Wits and SuperSport United. As I understand, all these clubs have tabled offers in millions of Rands for Kwanda’s services and there has been no movement up to this point,” Sukazi revealed. “A club like Maritzburg tabled their offer some three to four weeks ago. We are aware that Sundowns is interested in some players at SuperSport and Wits and Kwanda has been made a trade-off in those negotiations. All we said to Sundowns is that they should rather separate the kid from the deals that they are trying to secure with Wits and SuperSport. Our view is simply that as it has become clear that Kwanda is surplus to Sundowns’ requirements, he should be let go because other clubs see value in him as this is the fairest and most humane way to deal with his future. I do acknowledge that Sundowns has its own business imperatives but then the future and lives of people are involved in these types of situations. In cases of players in respect of whom no interest has been expressed, it is a different matter altogether. However, in a case of a player that the club does not need and there are offers of R2m and above, all they have to do is to let go of the kid. Sundowns’ stance on Kwanda’s matter might even have more unintended consequences and I have already alerted their management to these. I sincerely hope that sanity will prevail at the Sundowns board and Kwanda will be allowed to play professional football, which he so much deserves after doing very well while on loan with Bidvest Wits and Maritzburg in the last two seasons.

Former AmaZulu defender Carlington Nyadombo has agreed to join Polokwane City on a one-year deal. Nyadombo has been training with City for the past week and has made enough of an impression to win a contract following his controversial departure from Usuthu after five years of service. Nyadombo briefly trained with Bidvest Wits and Mpumalanga Black Aces before signing with Rise and Shine. The 29-year-old left AmaZulu when his contract expired in June after falling out with the club's management earlier in the year.

Bidvest Wits confirmed two more signings on Tuesday night in the form of attacking players Roggert Nyundu and Thulani Ngcepe. Wits coach Gavin Hunt confirmed after his side’s 3-1 win over SuperSport United in the MTN8 quarter-finals that Nyundu has signed a contract with the club. Nyundu had spent the last 10 days training with the Clever Boys and featured in some of their pre-season friendlies. Wits also revealed the signing of former SuperSport striker Ngcepe. The 25-year-old has joined the club as a free agent and was in the matchday squad against United. However, Nyundu still has a pending contractual dispute with his previous employer Polokwane City, who have referred the contract row to their legal department. Nyundu rose to prominence last season after scoring 19 goals while on loan at Black Leopards, which immediately ignited widespread interest. He then also revealed that he had been earning a miserable R5 000 a month as he sought – with the help of the South African Football Players’ Union – to find a way out of that disputed contract, which he claimed expired on June 30.

South Africa Under-23 star Siphelele Ntshangase admits he will have to re-apply his mind to NFD football if he is unable to move on from Black Leopards during this transfer window. Ntshangase's head has been turned by recent transfer speculation linking him with Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns, although Leopards have been unwilling to let him go easily. In helping Owen Da Gama's side qualify for the 8-Nations tournament in Senegal later this year, Ntshangase was a focal point of attention and showed great control of the ball while running at Zimbabwe’s players with ease, playing without fear. After the game, he was cagey when asked if he deserves to be playing in the First Division next season. “I’m not gonna say that I deserve to play there in the NFD but I think whatever happens, it will happen,” said Ntshangase.  “If I go back to Leopards, I will go back. Plus I have an offer at Chelsea … I'm joking! But I will definitely go back to the club and my heart will have to re-adjust again.” Ntshangase admits going back to the NFD will surely be huge psychological warfare in his mind but says anything can still happen since there are offers on the table for him. “There are offers but I can't disclose it to you, really there are,” he said. “However, what has happened before I came here for Under-23s, the club chairman Chief Thidiela, we had spoken to each other and he told me ‘no my boy, your chance will come'. Again, concrete offers are there. However, he told me I should wait for this coming season but I don’t know what’s gonna happen [before the end of the transfer window].”

Orlando Pirates have parted ways with their physical trainer Japhet Borges and goalkeeper coach Alexandre Revoredo. The Brazilian duo have left the Bucs camp after it was alerted that their contracts have not been renewed ahead of the new season. Borges, 58, joined Pirates from Moroka Swallows in 2010, ahead of their first treble-winning season, while Revoredo, 57,  joined the following season, in 2011, at the start of former coach Julio Leal’s tenure with the Houghton-club. Having been spotted on the bench during Saturday’s Carling Black Label Cup Soweto Derby, Okpara has now taken over the goalkeeping department in a caretaker role until the club finds a replacement for Revoredo.

The Premier Soccer League has confirmed the prize-money on offer for this year’s MTN8. The winner will once again pocket a cool R8-million, with positions 2-8 each netting R800 000 for a grand total of R13.6-million.

Craig Rosslee, brought in to rescue Moroka Swallows at the end of last season but unable to keep the Soweto club up in the PSL, is back in the game as technical director at FC Cape Town. The National First Division club have appointed Dutchman Pieter de Jongh as their new coach and also employed Andre Bronckhorst, formerly with Santos and Bloemfontein Celtic, as goalkeeper coach. De Jongh comes to South Africa after working in Kenya, with Rosslee’s local knowledge there to support him. Rosslee also has spells at Ajax Cape Town, Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu under his belt. The latest appointments keep up the coaching merry go round in the Mother City, where only Tony de Nobrega retains his place at Vasco da Gama. Boebie Solomons has left Cape Town All Stars to join Milano United while Zeca Marques is new at Santos after departing Black Leopards, who narrowly missed out on promotion to the top flight last season. Dan Malesela is the new high-profile coach at ambitious All Stars, who will be competing for a second season in the NFD. The NFD kicks off on August 22.