Local News - Issue 280

Mashaba Names Makeshift Squad For Chan

Safa have named a squad for Chan that predictably includes many players who are not seeing game-time for their clubs. As in previous years, national coach Shakes Mashaba has had to make do with whichever players the clubs are willing to release as Chan (full title African Nations Championship) does not fall within international dates on the Fifa calendar. The squad is a mash-up of experienced veterans who no longer see much action (like Wayne Sandilands, Thabo September), reserves that often do not make their club bench (Levy Mokgothu and Amigo Memela), occasional starters (Bradley Grobler and Wandisile Letlabika) and a sprinkling of young talents (Hendrick Ekstein, Morne Nel, Thami Sangweni and Percy Tau), many of whom have made an impact in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge. South Africa host Angola in the Chan 2016 first round, first leg match at Rand Stadium on Saturday October 17, with the return a week later in Angola.  In November, an altogether different looking Bafana Bafana will take on Angola again in do-or-die World Cup second round qualifiers.

Full Chan squad

Goalkeepers: Nkosingiphile Gumede (Golden Arrows), Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns), Dumisani Msibi (Supersport Utd)

Defenders: Siyanda Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Wandisile Letlabika (Bloemfontein Celtic), Levy Mokgothu (Kaizer Chiefs), Thabo September (Supersport Utd), Madisha Motjeka (Mamelodi Sundowns), Mario Booysen (Mamelodi Sundowns), Rofhiwa Tshikovhi (Platinum Stars), Tebogo Moerane (Bidvest Wits)

Midfielders: Thabo Qalinge (Orlando Pirates), Thato Sithole (Jomo Cosmos), Thamsanqa Sangweni (Chippa Utd), Lyle Lakay (Bloemfontein Celtic), Mlungisi Mbunjane (Cape Town All Stars), Morne Nel  (Supersport United), Vincent Pule (Bidvest Wits), Luvuyo ‘Amigo’ Memela (Orlando Pirates), Michael Morton (Supersport Utd), Hendrick ‘Pule’ Ekstein (Kaizer Chiefs)

Strikers: Bongani Ndulula (Kaizer Chiefs), Dumisane Zuma (Bloemfontein Celtic), Gift Motupa (Orlando Pirates), Bradley Grobler (Supersport Utd), Percy Tau (Mamelodi Sundowns). 

Former AmaZulu captain Belux Bukasa Kasonga is set to meet with the club's management to discuss a possible return to the promotion hopefuls. The centre-back, who is a free agent, spent seven years with Usuthu before joining BEC Tero Sasana of Thailand in 2013. The ex-Democratic Republic of Congo international skippered AmaZulu in the 2010 Nedbank Cup Final loss to Bidvest Wits. The NFD outfit are seeking a replacement for Togolese defender Sadate Ouro Akoriko, who joined Saudi side Al Faisaly in August.

Mamelodi Sundowns winger Lindokuhle Mbatha could well be on his way out of the club in January. Mbatha has seen limited game-time for Sundowns since joining the PSL giants from Platinum Stars in May 2014. The Bafana Bafana international is yet to feature this season, along with the likes of Ejike Uzoenyi, Rheece Evans and Sibusiso Kumalo, who have also been linked with an exit from the Brazilians. 

Ajax Cape Town have announced their decision to withdraw from Saturday’s U-18 Coke Cup Final after a disagreement with the club and tournament sponsors. The club could not come to an agreement with tournament organisers over the logos to be worn on the club shirts during the final, and have thus withdrawn from the match.

Bafana Bafana and Bournemouth striker Tokelo Rantie has come under fire for criticising South African football fans. On Sunday, Rantie was watching a match between Germany and Georgia when Marco Rues missed a chance, but instead of the Germany fans booing him they instead encouraged him. Rantie, who has endured much criticism for missing chances while playing for the national team, made a comment on Twitter that triggered some responses from the fans. “If Marco Reus was playing for bafana they would have booed him GERvsGEO… But he's playing for a nation that understands football, the fans encourage him,” Rantie tweeted. And when asked why he said that Rantie added, “because I missed the same chance a while ago and I was booed”. Rantie’s tweets didn’t go down well with the fans, who hit back at him. Jay O ‏@OReillyJay replied: “: are u implying that we don't understand football as SAcans?” However, the striker was adamant that players can benefit from fans with a better understanding of football. He added: “All I'm saying is if we have the same understanding things would be different.” But tonynxusani ‏@tonynxusani80 was having none of it and pointed out that unlike Rantie, Reus doesn’t miss often. “He doesn't miss regularly I think that's the difference.”

Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk was at a loss for words after being named the 2015 Gauteng Sports Personality of the Year at a glittering event on Sunday. She was unable to attend the function as she is currently in camp with the national team preparing for a do-or-die qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games. Banyana will face Equatorial Guinea this Sunday at Estadio de Bata in Equatorial Guinea. Kick-off is at 17h00 South African time. Van Wyk was competing against cyclist William Mokgopo and wheelchair tennis player Lucas Sithole in her category. This is her second major award after she was crowned the SAFA Player of the Year for 2010. She first kicked a ball at the age of five and has been playing the game  for 23 years – 10 of those with the national team. The Banyana defender is also up for another accolade – the ANN7 Sports Person of the Year award. She is going up against phenomenal athletes such as South African cricketer AB de Villiers, rugby player Duane Vermeulen and football star Teko Modise, among others. The winner between South Africa and Equatorial Guinea will qualify for the Olympic Games, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August next year.

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South African striker Dino Ndlovu has been named the Player of the Month for August and September in Cyprus' Premier League. The 25-year-old has been in great form for Anorthosis Famagusta with six goals in six League games so far, which has helped his side to third place on the log. The former Mpumalanga Black Aces forward is one goal behind Apoel's Argentinian striker Fernando Cavenaghi in the scoring charts.

Bafana Bafana legend Benni McCarthy says he harbours ambitions of coaching the national team. The 37-year-old, who is still completing his UEFA A licence, took up an assistant coaching role at Belgian topflight side Sint-Truidense last month. "One of my ambitions, one of my dreams, is to coach Bafana Bafana," says McCarthy. "Because if you are successful with your national team, you got an opportunity to take your national team to the World Cup finals and there is nothing bigger than playing on the biggest stage in football.”As a club player, it's the Champions League, but on a world stage, it's the World Cup. To be able to say I managed the national team at the World Cup, that would be quite something. "And that's my dream; I'm on the right path to make that dream come true." McCarthy, Bafana's record scorer with 32 goals, won the European Champions League with FC Porto in 2004, while he also featured for Ajax Amsterdam, Celta Vigo, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United. McCarthy retired from playing two years ago following a stint with Orlando Pirates.

Four Orlando Pirates players have been nominated in CAF's Player of the Year - based in Africa award. The four - Felipe Ovono, Kermit Erasmus, Oupa Manyisa and Thamsanqa Gabuza - are nominated for their role in helping the Buccaneers reach the CAF Confederation Cup Final, where they face Etoile du Sahel. Only one player of the final opponents has made the list, Baghdad Bounedjah.

Bloemfontein Celtic clinched the Macufe Cup on Sunday afternoon with a 1-0 victory against Kaizer Chiefs. Amakhosi had the better of the opening 45 minutes, with the closest they came being Siyanda Xulu’s miss from George Maluleka’s supply just past the half-hour mark. And Chiefs were made to pay for that miss shortly afterwards, with Tshegofatso Mabaso calmly slotting past Brilliant Khuzwayo. Chiefs pushed hard for an equaliser, but could not prevent Celtic from lifting a fourth successive Macufe Cup.

The national U-20 women's team beat Zambia 3-2 on Saturday to advance to the third and final round of the U-20 World Cup qualifiers. Linda Motlahlo struck twice to go with a goal from Basetsana teammate Lorraine Makhoali, while Babara Banda and Agnes Musesa netted for the visitors at Makhulong Stadium. The nations drew 0-0 in the first leg at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka on September 27.  

Mpumalanga Black Aces have terminated the contract of Liberian defender Dirkir Glay before he could even play his first game in the PSL.  Glay signed a two-year contract with Aces about two months ago but was not registered for the 2015/16 season. But news coming from the AmaZayoni camp is that the club has now decided against keeping the Liberian international and given him a chance to find a new club. Glay would have played alongside his compatriot Kpah Sherman at Aces had things worked out more favourably.

Costa Rica captain and Real Madrid star Keylor Navas believes South Africa has the ability to be among the world's top footballing nations. Navas heaped praise on Bafana Bafana following his country's surprise 1-0 friendly loss to Shakes Mashaba's men in San Jose. Costa Rica, who reached the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals, are 42nd in the FIFA rankings - 31 spots above Bafana.“Looking at how they competed here, I am still surprised that South Africa is not dominating Africa and even most top countries in the world,” Navas said. “If they play this type of football on regular basis then surely they should be among the giants in the world. They are electric fast, can pass the ball with high tempo and hardly lose possession when they are in charge. “It is quite different from either the European or South or Central American style. Their football is refreshing and exciting to see. I suppose they need to play against top sides in the world in order to express themselves more and dominate on regular basis.” The goalkeeper added: “I am not trying to impress anyone. If anything, no one normally praises your vanquisher but we need to give credit where it is due, South Africa are a good football playing nation and that is a fact.”

Kaizer Chiefs striker Bernard Parker is doing his bit to give back to the community by implementing a school’s football tournament during the current school holidays. The tournament, dubbed the Bernard Parker Schools Festival, is being hosted in Reiger Park, Boksburg, where the 29-year-old was born and raised. The inaugural BP Schools Festival, which kicked off on Monday, is being contested by a total of 51 teams in age groups ranging from under-10 through to under-18, with the finals of each age group being contested on Friday between 10h00 and 16h00. The striker, who is passionate about contributing towards his local community, has also been assisting in coaching sessions around Reiger Park as he aims to uplift the youth and help young, aspiring footballers realise their dreams of making it as professionals.

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Bongani Zungu has confirmed interest in his services from Portugal as he continues to weigh up his future. The 23-year-old’s contract with the Brazilians expires at the end of the season and he has still not committed to a new deal, meaning he could sign a pre-contract agreement in January and leave on a free transfer when his deal is up. Zungu, who received a special mention from Costa Rican players for his cool head, influence and mobility in the middle of the park while playing for Bafana Bafana, confirms that he is being courted by a top Portuguese club – reportedly Vitoria de Guimaraes. “It is not something I would like to delve into at this moment but yes, a few clubs including one big one from Portugal have made some serious enquiries,” says Zungu. “Definitely, my ultimate goal is to play overseas; that is where you can take your profession to the next level, mixing it up with the best in the business.” On the secret to his steady rise to stardom, Zungu says he has been working very hard to improve his game, day in and day out. “I am also privileged to work with two of South Africa’s greatest coaches but I have discovered that when you take instructions from the coaches and remain humble, one thing can lead to the other,” he adds.

Veteran defender Elias Ngwepe insists he still holds intentions of continuing with his playing career but is being held up by a contractual dispute with Polokwane City. Ngwepe has taken his row with Polokwane – the club he was attached to last season – to the South African Football Players’ Union (SAFPU). The 37-year-old left the club in mysterious circumstances back in March having played just four games after signing at the beginning of last season. Ngwepe confirms that he has an outstanding issue with Polokwane that he is not at liberty to talk about yet, but it is already in the Players’ Union’s hands.

Mark Mayambela says his focus is 100 percent on Chippa United amid rumours of interest from other PSL teams. ‘Professor’ arrived at the Chilli Boys during the off-season after a spell in the First Division with Royal Eagles and has been in fine form so far, bringing back memories from his days at Bloemfontein Celtic. Rumours are that a few PSL sides – among them Platinum Stars – are keen to bring him on board, but Mayambela says his immediate future is at Chippa.

Ajax Cape Town coach Roger de Sa has revealed that there were talks between him and Egyptians giants Al Ahly and Zamalek. There was speculation early this year linking De Sa with a move up north and he denied the speculation at the time. But speaking during a DiskiNite event in Gugulethu outside Cape Town last night, the 51-year-old admitted that both clubs approached him for a coaching role. The MTN8-winning coach says he was very flattered with the offers but turned them down because he wants to stay with the Cape side for as long as he can. Mozambique-born De Sa is well known on the African continent after guiding his former club Orlando Pirates to the final of the CAF Champions League in 2013, when Bucs lost 3-1 on aggregate to Al Ahly. Al Ahly are currently without a coach following their CAF Confederation Cup exit at the hands of Pirates. De Sa is expected to meet with Urban Warriors management regarding a contract extension as his current deal is set to expire at the end of the season.

Siyabakhumbula Annual Commemorative Tournament player of the tournament Sinovuyo Charles has earned a trial with PSL club University of Pretoria. The final showpiece of the tournament that took place on Saturday, 3 September 2015 at Kubusi Village in Stutterheim turned out to be a world of opportunity for the 18-year-old. The player, who represents true rural talent, emerged as one of the best players at the Siyabakhumbula Annual Commemorative Tournament, an achievement that presented him with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to trial for the Under-19 side of AmaTuks. This was made possible by the Luthando Zibeko Foundation. 

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Benett Chenene could find a new home at Chippa United after being invited for trials by the club. Chenene is a free agent, having parted ways with SuperSport United in July. The 31-year-old is due to arrive in Port Elizabeth for an assessment, according to a source close to the Chilli Boys. United recently signed ex-Moroka Swallows playmaker Lerato Chabangu, who made his debut in Saturday's Telkom Knockout last-16 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns.