Local News - Issue 283


Roger de Sa Extends Ajax Stay

Ajax Cape Town coach Roger de Sa has signed a new deal with the club, which will keep him at Ikamva until 2018. De Sa joined the Urban Warriors in February 2014 after a successful stint with Orlando Pirates, and immediately showed his prowess as a coach by placing his trust in the young players at the club. The 2014/15 PSL season was a successful campaign for De Sa and Ajax, reaching the Nedbank Cup Final and securing a top-five finish in the League. The start of the 2015/16 PSL season saw the Urban Warriors kick off proceedings in fine fashion, beating defending MTN8 champions Kaizer Chiefs to the 2015 MTN8 trophy. “Roger has been a revelation at Ajax Cape Town. He has embraced the club’s philosophy of promoting youth players to the PSL team. His personality and commitment in his first stint at Ajax Cape Town has shown great results and the management had no hesitation in extending his contract. We are confident in his abilities and are expecting him to ensure that with his guidance Ajax Cape Town will reach new heights,” stated Ajax Cape Town CEO Ari Efstathiou. 

Orlando Pirates duo Kermit Erasmus and Felipe Ovono have made it to the top 10 list for the 2015 African Player of the Year (Based in Africa). Initially, Pirates had four players in Erasmus, Ovono, Thamsanqa Gabuza and Oupa Manyisa, and they now have two players in the running for the award.

African Player of the Year (Based in Africa) nominees

Abdeladim Khadrouf (Morocco & Moghreb Tetouan)
Baghdad Bounedjah ( Algeria & Etoile du Sahel)
Felipe Ovono (Equatorial Guinea & Orlando Pirates)
Kermit Erasmus (South Africa & Orlando Pirates)
Mbwana Aly Samatta (Tanzania & TP Mazembe)
Mohamed Meftah ( Algeria & USM Alger)
Mudather Eltaib Ibrahim ‘Karika’ (Sudan & El Hilal)
Robert Kidiaba Muteba ( DR Congo & TP Mazembe)
Roger Assale (Cote d’Ivoire & TP Mazembe)
Zineddine Ferhat (Algeria & USM Alger)

The winner will be decided by votes of the Coaches or Technical Directors of the National Associations affiliated to CAF and the awards gala will be held on Thursday, 7 January 2016 in Abuja, Nigeria.

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Cosafa, the regional body for the southern African zone based in Johannesburg, launched its annual showpiece tournament for national teams to be played in Namibia next year. Dates have again been set for the end of the season with the tournament to be played May 15-29, allowing participating countries to pick full strength teams as they plan for vital African Nations Cup qualifying matches in June. The final round of South African league matches will be played on May 21, but with the national team likely to only feature in the second week of the Cosafa Cup tournament, Shakes Mashaba should be able to select a near-full strength locally-based side bar those players involved in the Nedbank Cup Final. It is the first time Namibia host the event, which earlier this year was held in the North West province and won in an upset result by the Namibians, who beat Mozambique in the Final. South Africa flopped at the first hurdle and heavyweights like Zambia and Zimbabwe also fell by the wayside with surprising ease. The matches are to be played in Windhoek and Cosafa are to keep the same format which means countries ranked 7-14 in the region play in a first round group competition. They are divided into two groups of four and only the winner advances onto the knockout stage where they are joined by the top six ranked countries. A plate competition is also held for quarter-final stage losers which guarantees each participating country will play at least two matches. This year Cosafa members, Angola and the Comoros Islands, did not compete – which saw outsiders Ghana and Tanzania invited instead - but Cosafa are expecting a full house next year, official said yesterday.

Witbank Spurs have quietly brought back Thabang Rooi as they bid to finally reach the promotion play-offs following a decade-long stay in the First Division. Rooi started off last season with Mpumalanga Black Aces and then moved down to Golden Arrows midway through the season, featuring regularly at the tail end of the campaign as Abafana Bes’thende won promotion. His contract with Arrows was then not renewed and after spending time without a club he then decided to head back to Spurs where he previously played during the 2011-12 season. Themba Mafu, the Spurs boss, has expressed delight with the work that has been put in by the 32-year-old since his arrival at the club. Spurs have also brought in Themba Ndlovu – who played as a striker for TUKS in the Varsity Cup. Rooi played for Kaizer Chiefs at the height of his playing career.

Kaizer Chiefs striker Edward Manqele and football agent Josiah Mphono have settled their differences after the agent alleged that Manqele had breached his contract with him. Mphono confirms that Manqele’s move to Naturena was done without him being involved despite Mphono insisting the two parties still had a contract. “We have reached an agreement and the issue is now sorted out,” says Mphono. “The main issue was that Manqele had breached his contract by not involving me as his agent with regards to his move to Chiefs. I requested a meeting with [Chiefs football manager] Bobby Motaung and the issue was sorted out when we met last week on Wednesday. I can also confirm that I have released Manqele from his contract and I want to thank Bobby Motaung for his cooperation in the matter,” Mphono adds. Manqele has played seven games since his move to Chiefs and has scored one goal.

Mpumalanga Black Aces striker Collins Mbesuma and Platinum Stars boss Cavin Johnson have been named the Absa Premiership player and manager of the month for September/October. Mbesuma is joint-top of the Premier Soccer League scoring charts with five goals alongside Free State Stars' Andrea Fileccia, while Johnson has steered unbeaten Dikwena to the summit. The PSL handed the pair their prizes on Monday morning. Ajax Cape Town forward Prince Nxumalo and Aces mentor Muhsin Ertugral were last month's winners.

Orlando Pirates overcame Kaizer Chiefs with a spectacular 3-1 score-line to ensure only their second league win of the season. It was level-pegging at half-time, despite Pirates dominating much of the first half, when Eric Mathoho cancelled out Issar Sarr’s opener. However, the Buccaneers continued their dominance in the second stanza and made it count with two more goals from Ayanda Gcaba and Thamsanqa Gabuza. Chiefs will have their chance at revenge when they host Pirates once more in the Telkom Knockout semi-finals this weekend. 

AmaZulu have roped in their former captain Belux Bukasa Kasonga to coach in the club's development structures. The 36-year-old spent seven years with Usuthu as a player before joining BEC Tero Sasana of Thailand in 2013. The ex-Democratic Republic of Congo defender skippered AmaZulu in the 2010 Nedbank Cup Final defeat to Bidvest Wits. AmaZulu restructured their technical team after their relegation from the PSL last season, as chief scout Joel Faya was let go and assistant coach Ronnie Moroka joined neighbouring Golden Arrows.

Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba is confident his team will advance past Angola in 2018 World Cup qualifying action next month. Mashaba on Thursday announced a 25-man squad to face the Sable Antelopes in back-to-back round two clashes. The first match will be played on Friday, 13 November at the Ombaka National Stadium in Benguela, Angola, and kicks off at 15h30 (16h30 SA time). Bafana will then host Angola four days later (Tuesday, 17 November) in Durban at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, and that encounter starts at 19h00. Mashaba has recalled the bulk of the squad that did duty in the recent tour of Central America where they defeated Costa Rica 1-0 and drew 1-1 with Honduras. Angola is ranked 97th in the world and 26th on the continent, compared to South Africa in 73rd and 17th spot respectively. Bafana Bafana will assemble for camp on Sunday, 8 November. 

Bafana squad:

Goalkeepers: Khune (Chiefs), Mabokgwane (Aces), Williams (SuperSport).

Defenders: Nhlapo (Wits), Nonyane (Aces), Ngcongca (Troyes), Matlaba (Pirates), Daniels (SuperSport), Mathoho (Chiefs), Coetzee (Ajax CT), Hlatshwayo (Wits).

Midfielders: Jali (Oostende), Mokotjo (Twente), Ntshangase (Wits), Zungu 
(Sundowns), Lebese (Chiefs), Furman (SuperSport), Makola (Pirates), Masango (Randers), T. Zwane (Sundowns).

Strikers: Gabuza (Pirates), Serero (Ajax Amsterdam), Vilakazi (Wits), Rantie (Bournemouth), D. Ndlovu (Anorthosis).

Black Leopards have parted ways with their head coach Major David Bright, who has resigned. Leopards spokesperson Barry Ramunenyiwa confirms Bright’s departure. “Major David Bright has resigned from Black Leopards. We wish him well wherever he goes and Black Leopards will now focus on building the team in his absence,” he says. It was recently reported that all was not well in Lidoda Duvha’s camp following comments by Bright alleging that there was interference in technical team affairs from club officials. Bright made the comments after Leopards lost 3-2 to Mbombela United insisting that the substitutions that were forced on the technical team by club officials resulted in the loss.

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Mukuka Mulenga will definitely be heading out on loan during the January transfer window. Club authorities are already in agreement that he needs to be playing elsewhere after falling into the list of players that couldn’t be registered with the League this season due to an exhausted foreign quota. The Zambian midfielder was actually offered to Bloemfontein Celtic – where he spent the past season on loan – but Phunya Sele Sele felt they were already covered in his position and needed their foreign space for strikers. With the transfer window opening again in just over eight weeks, Sundowns are already working hard to find a club for Mulenga in January. The Zambian is into the last year of his contract with Sundowns but still has an option the Brazilians could choose to exercise. Though he has not been active this season, Mulenga appears likely to be selected for the Zambia Under-23 squad to play at the CAF Under-23 Championships (which double up as 2016 Olympic Games qualifiers) in Senegal from November 28 to December 12.

The South Africa Under-17 team is set to undergo a rebuilding phase following their early exit from the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, according to coach Molefi Ntseki. Fifteen of the 21 Amajimbos players that travelled to Chile earlier this month are already 17-years-old, meaning over 70 percent of Ntseki's squad will no longer be eligible to play for the team as of 2016. The squad returned from Chile, via Sao Paulo, on Wednesday morning, where Ntseki revealed that SAFA held 'trials' earlier this year to identify youngsters to take over from the current crop of players. The 46-year-old adds that the technical team’s experience gained at this year’s World Cup will help them build a side that can continue to compete internationally. 

Ajax Cape Town will reserve jersey number 21, which was worn by Cecil Lolo, for the foreseeable future. Lolo (27) passed away tragically in a car accident in the early hours of Sunday morning. The versatile Khayelitsha-born player spent 14 years at Ikamva and helped the Urban Warriors win the MTN8 trophy in September. A source at Ajax has confirmed that Lolo’s favourite number, 21, will be reserved for the foreseeable future, according to management.

Mpumalanga Black Aces coach Muhsin Ertugral has confirmed the club's interest in keeping on-loan midfielder Lebogang Manyama on a permanent basis. The skilful midfielder has settled in well at Aces since making a loan move from SuperSport United, where he was deemed surplus to requirements following the arrival of Isaka Cernak. Ertugral says negotiations for the 25-year-old are at an early stage.

South African players abroad

Thulani Serero made his first League start of the season, Ayanda Patosi scored and provided an assist, Darren Keet saved a penalty, while Kagisho Dikgacoi's progress was hampered on the weekend.

Daylon Claasen came off in the first half as 1860 Munich picked up a first Bundesliga II win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Duisburg.

Kagisho Dikgacoi missed Cardiff City’s draw at Ipswich Town with a hamstring injury.

Andile Jali played the full game as KV Oostende netted deep into injury-time to force a 1-1 draw at Charleroi.

Darren Keet saved a penalty as Kortrijk played to a 2-2 draw with Zulte-Waregem that leaves his side in eighth in the Belgian league.

Pule Maraisane ended his season in Sweden with a sub appearance in GAIS’s 3-2 home loss to Sirius. Luther Singh missed out through injury. They finished the campaign in 11th.

Mandla Masango played the full game for Randers in Sunday’s 4-0 loss to FC Copenhagen in Denmark. 

Tefu Mashamaite brought his first season in Sweden to an end as he played for Hacken in their 2-1 victory over Helsingborg. His side were already guaranteed to finish in seventh.

Kamohelo Mokotjo played in FC Twente’s 4-2 away loss to FC Utrecht in the Netherlands. 

Dino Ndlovu came off late in Anorthosis Famagusta’s 2-1 away win at Paphos FC. He could not cap his recent Bafana recall with a goal though.

Anele Ngcongca started for French Ligue 1 strugglers Troyes in their 1-0 home loss to Lyon that leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table.

Ayanda Nkili ended his season in Sweden with an appearance off the bench for Orebro as they drew 1-1 at home with AIK. Orebro finished the campaign in ninth.

Ayanda Patosi made one and scored the other with a fine free-kick as his Lokeren side claimed a vital 2-0 victory at Genk. He has already netted four goals this season to be joint top-scorer at his club.

Lebogang Phiri came off after 69 minutes of Brondby’s 5-2 away win over OB with much of the hard work already done by his side.

Thulani Serero made his first league start of the season for Ajax Amsterdam as they thrashed Roda JC 6-0 to stay top of the Dutch league.

Tiya Shipalane ended his season in the USA second tier with a goal as Carolina Railhawks avoided bottom position in their conference with a 3-1 win over Indy Eleven. It was a sixth goal of the season in 27 starts for the winger.