Local News - Issue 285

May Mahlangu Joins Benni McCarthy At Belgium's Sint-Truiden 

May Mahlangu’s long search for a club is over after he was officially unveiled as a Sint-Truiden player late last night having passed a medical at the Belgian top-flight team. Mahlangu has signed a contract to the end of the season with an option to renew having not played any competitive football since leaving Turkish side Konyaspor in June. “The 26-year-old central midfielder passed medical tests earlier today [Monday] and is now officially a Canary,” the club said in a statement, alluding to their nickname. Mahlangu joins compatriot Benni McCarthy at the club with the former Bafana Bafana star acting as assistant coach to Northern Irishman Chris O'Loughlin, who was once on the technical team at Orlando Pirates. Mahlangu last played for Bafana Bafana against Angola in June and is admired by national team coach Shakes Mashaba despite past differences, but will need game-time at his club to force his way back into the set-up. 

Serbian coach Vladislav Heric has confirmed his departure from First Division club Royal Eagles with Khabo Zondo taking over as the new coach in the latest chapter of coaching changes at the club. “Yes, I have left the club,” confirms Heric. Eagles have already announced that Zondo has returned to take charge at the club having served last season as a technical director. Since the new owners took over club at the beginning of last season Eagles have had Major David Bright, Duncan Lechesa, David Notoane (caretaker), John Tlale (caretaker), Thami Ngubane and Heric taking charge at the club. Zondo will become the seventh man to lead the Eagles bench in the last 18 months. Eagles have also confirmed the appointment of Japhet Borges as the new fitness trainer along with former Polokwane City team manager Costa Bellos. Bellos will work as general manager at Eagles. Eagles are third on the standings after 11 games just three points shy of leaders Baroka.

Ex-SuperSport United defender Davies Nkausu has resurfaced at Free State Stars. Nkausu was formerly at Bloemfontein Celtic, with the pair still locked in a pay dispute. "He is currently training with Free State Stars," says Nkausu's business manager Glyn Binkin. "Nothing has changed with regards with his issue with Celtic. We have taken it to FIFA." Celtic sought to cancel Nkausu's contract but the Zambian has challenged the grounds for his dismissal.

Ajax Cape Town have confirmed the signing of Ghanaian defender Lawrence Lartey on a two-year deal. The 22-year-old has played for Ghana at youth level and made his full international debut for the Black Stars in September this year in a friendly. “We have been trying to lure Lawrence to join us since 2013 and we are thrilled to have him join Ajax CT,” club CEO Ari Efstathiou says on their website. “He is a natural leader with fantastic international experience. He is a strong, quick and very intelligent defender and a very valuable addition to the Ajax squad, especially going into our upcoming CAF [Confederation Cup] campaign [in 2016].” Lartey helped his former side Ashanti Gold win league honours in the 2014/15 season and was selected for the Ghana Premier League Team of the Season.“It has been good to be part of a club with so many good young players. This is a great club in general and the players here are on a good level. The facilities are the best I’ve experienced so far,” says Lartey. “South African football has developed a lot. I can see myself developing into a better player here. This is a good step in my career. I am happy to finally sign for Ajax.”

Hichani Himoonde could be heading back home following the start of negotiations between Mamelodi Sundowns and Zambian Super League club Nkwazi FC. The defender has already started training with Nkwazi in Lusaka as he edges closer to sealing a move that will revive a career that has been on hold this year.  Himoonde hasn’t played any competitive football this year since returning from a loan spell at Zambian champions ZESCO United and now wants to start from scratch yet again. Nkwazi have already indicated that they are keen on the 29-year-old and have initiated talks with Sundowns with the hope of landing him ahead of the start of the new season in the new year.  With Himoonde not anywhere close to being in the plans for Pitso Mosimane, Sundowns are expected to swiftly agree to the release of the former TP Mazembe defender, who won the 2012 AFCON with Chipolopolo.  Himoonde was signed  at the beginning of last year on a two-and-a-half-year contract. That contract will expire in June, with the player having never been registered with the PSL and having never played for the Brazilians in an official match.

Mpumalanga Black Aces midfielder Dennis Masina is calling time on his playing career. Masina, who has made four League appearances this season, will be appointed head coach of AmaZayoni's MultiChoice Diski Challenge team in January. The former Swaziland star will become the second Aces player to recently retire after Esau Mtsweni, who has since taken on a managerial role with the club's reserve side. "Yes, it's true, Masina is hanging up his soccer boots this December," Aces head coach Muhsin Ertugral confirmed. "He is set to take over the MultiChoice Diski Challenge team as coach." The ex-Orlando Pirates man joined AmaZayoni in October 2011.

PSL chairman Irvin Khoza has confirmed that the insurance money that will be paid out to Senzo Meyiwa’s family via Orlando Pirates also applies to Richard Henyekane and Cecil Lolo. Henkyane and Lolo both passed away in vehicle accidents this year and Khoza says the money will be paid out to the players’ former clubs, who will administer it. Meyiwa’s insurance payout has taken more than a year due to the ongoing police investigation into the shooting of the ex-Bafana Bafana goalkeeper in October last year. 

Julio Leal is back in South Africa, having taken over as head coach of Polokwane City. Rise & Shine were coachless after parting ways with Kosta Papic, who left the team in 13th place with nine points from 10 games. Leal, a former AmaZulu, Moroka Swallows and Orlando Pirates coach, apparently arrived at OR Tambo International this morning and was whisked away to Limpopo. Polokwane boss Johnny Mogaladi has explained why he opted for Julio Cesar Leal as the club's new coach after confirming the Brazilian's appointment earlier today. Mogaladi acknowledges that Rise and Shine have continued to concede goals as was the case last season. They have the second worst defensive record this season having conceded 15 goals in 10 League matches behind Maritzburg United, who have conceded 22. The club chairman admits they needed a coach who could bring some "balance" in terms of their play and feels the ex-Orlando Pirates coach, fully aware of their attacking game, is the right fit.

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Golden Arrows are assessing former Moroka Swallows defender Giulio Giuricich in an attempt to reinforce their backline for the remainder of the season. Giuricich was also on trial at Mamelodi Sundowns earlier this season but failed to land a deal at Chloorkop after participating in the Uthungulu Mayoral Cup. The 25-year old is now hoping to win over Arrows coach Serame Letsoaka in an attempt to revive his career, after managing only five starts for the Dube Birds last season. Giuricich featured for Abafana Bes'thende in the Hibiscus Mayorial Cup in POrt Shepstone on Saturday, with Letsoaka confirming that a decision will be made on the South African-born defender follwoing his assessment in due course. Arrows will resume league action following international break when they visit top-of-the-log side, and Q-One winners, Bidvest Wits on November 21 at the Bidvest Stadium.

The spat between Benni McCarthy and West Ham United shows no signs of abating, with the club’s vice-person having yet another dig about his weight. Bafana Bafana’s record goalscorer had an ill-fated spell with the Hammers and was eventually released due to his weight issues, and without scoring for the club.  McCarthy recently told So Foot that “Woman and football, it's not such a good combination” – referring to Brady. West Ham co-owner David Gold immediately took to Twitter to defend Brady, saying: “More importantly Benni. Footballers and beef burgers don't mix.” Now Brady has defended herself, writing in The Sun: “McCarthy was the striker we sacked because he was overweight and never scored for us. “He now says women and football do not mix. However, women's football is improving quickly and off the field a growing number are excellent executives.  “My view is that football is lucky to have us. My other view is that McCarthy should stick with his area of expertise, which according to many people is... eating!” McCarthy is currently assistant coach at Belgian club Sint-Truidense.

Orlando Pirates have been handed a timely boost ahead of the CAF Confederations Cup Final following the return to action of Brighton Mhlongo and Sifiso Myeni. The duo, out for some time with knee and leg injuries, played 15 minutes of a 2-0 friendly defeat against Bidvest Wits at Sturrock Park last Friday morning. Both goals came in the first half, with Kris Bright banging home the opener from close range before a mix-up between Siyabonga Sangweni and goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane resulted in the centre-back deflecting a Wits corner into his own net. The first leg of the Final takes place next week at Orlando Stadium.

The Premier Soccer League Disciplinary Committee got together, Thursday, 12 November to hear two matters. Below is the outcome. Siyabonga Zulu: The player was charged with contravening Rule 37 of the NSL after he allegedly signed two contracts with different clubs covering the same period of employment. Zulu was found guilty. Having heard evidence in mitigation of sentence, the PSL DC undertook to hand down a written sentence within seven days. {Ed's note: Orlando Pirates disputed Zulu’s move to Platinum Stars when they claimed they exercised an option on the player’s contract) Veli Mothwa: The player was charged with contravening Rule 37 of the NSL after he allegedly signed two contracts with different clubs covering the same period of employment. Mothwa was found guilty. He was sentenced to a fine of R20 000. (Ed's note: Mothwa signed contarcts with Polokwane City and Chippa United, but belongs to the Chilli Boys. He was fined R50 000 [R25 000 suspended] a year ago for a similar case when he moved to Chippa from Baroka FC). 

Kaizer Chiefs striker David Zulu has won his case against his former agent Ryan Hartslief after successfully appealing through the South African Football Association. Zulu was ordered recently by the Premier Soccer League to pay Hartslief R150 000 after the latter took the player to the League’s Dispute Resolution Chamber for breach of contract relating to Zulu’s move from Black Leopards to Chippa United for the 2014/15 season. He then moved to Chiefs from Chippa in January 2015. Zulu’s current agent Abbie Rasimphi of Liberate Resources Sports Management then coughed up R30 000 for the matter to be heard on appeal by SAFA, arguing that Hartslief didn’t deserve any payment as he didn’t facilitate the player’s move to the Chilli Boys. The PSL’s ruling was overturned much to Rasimphi’s delight.

Mthatha Bucks have announced the appointment of Velile Eddie Dyaloyi as the team’s new head coach following the departure of Julius Dube last week. Dyaloyi returns to the National First Division strugglers for a second stint, having guided the club to the ABC Motsepe League/NFD play-offs in 2012/13. Dyaloyi will be assisted by Mondli Funani, who he previously worked with at Blackburn Rovers. Bucks released a statement, which said: "As of the 11th November 2015, Mthatha Bucks FC can now confirm Velile Eddie Dyaloyi as the club’s new Head Coach following the departure of Julius Dube last week.”The well-travelled mentor is coming back for a second stint as Bucks coach having led the club to ABC /NFD play offs in 2012/13 season in Gauteng. "The club also wishes to also confirm the appointment of Mondli Funani as an assistant coach to Dyaloyi. The duo has worked together in the past leading Blackburn Rovers to 4th position in the NFD in 2011/12 season. "In making the appointments we looked at the track records of two coaches.”Dyaloyi has been with the UPE School of Excellence, Bay United, Blackburn Rovers, FC Buffalo and most recently at Chippa United. Funani has worked at Bush Bucks, Blackburn Rovers, Angavu Stars and most recently with FC Elliot as a head coach. We welcome them to Mthatha Bucks family and wish them the best of luck in their roles." Bucks are propping up the second-tier standings with four points from 11 games.

Brand de Villiers has stepped down from his role as the Premier Soccer League’s chief executive officer. He took over almost two-and-a-half years ago from Cambridge Mokanyane, who was acting CEO following Stan Matthews’ brief stay.  “I want to announce that it is Brand de Villiers’ last day today as PSL CEO and he’ll now be joining MultiChoice,” PSL chairman Dr Irvin Khoza says. "It's not nice to lose quality people, but it always says something about the people we attract at the PSL.  “We want to wish him well in his future endeavours; he has done well in the short time he was with us.” Golden Arrows boss Mato Madlala will take over in a caretaker capacity until the PSL meets in December for a permanent successor.

University of Pretoria assistant coach Selaotse ‘Sly’ Mosala remains frozen out at the club, with Evangelos Vellios having now filled the position as coach Sammy Troughton’s number 2. Mosala has not been on the bench in the last two games in the absence of Troughton, who was serving a two-match suspension after being red-carded against Ajax Cape Town. In those two games the club has opted to elevate Vellios to stand in as caretaker coach with Mosala, who would have normally been the next in charge, nowhere to be seen. Vellios has along been serving as coach of the club’s varsity team, while doubling up as the man in charge of the MultiChoice Diski Challenge team. AmaTuks spokesperson Pearl Mosoane says the elevation of Vellios to the first team is a club decision. Mosala has not even been at training with the first team for the past couple of weeks.

Mpumalanga Black Aces veteran Esau Mtsweni has announced that he is hanging up his soccer boots this season. Mtsweni remains one of the longest-serving players at Aces together with Swaziland international Dennis Masina. But despite his retirement, the 35-year-old midfielder is set to remain with AmaZayoni and join the management team. The former Bidvest Wits midfielder pays tribute to Aces coach Muhsin Ertugral for the great work he has done since arriving at the start of the season.
Former Orlando Pirates fitness trainer Japhet Borges is back in the country with a new job already lined up for him at NFD promotion hopefuls Royal Eagles. Club owners the Mpisane family paid for the air ticket to bring Borges from his homeland back to South Africa. Eagles – who are third on the NFD standings and just three points behind leaders Baroka – have declared their intentions of winning promotion to the Absa Premiership, with Serbian coach Vladislav Heric indicating that he is aware of the expectations. Borges’ contract was not renewed by Pirates upon its expiry in June following a successful five-year stay and he has since been replaced by Warren Engelbrecht. Borges had joined Pirates from Moroka Swallows.

South African Breweries (SAB) in partnership with the South African Football Association (SAFA) officially launched the Gauteng leg of the 2015/16 SAB League today. The launch of South Africa’s SAB League at the SAB Gauteng Regional Office in Isando, Johannesburg was also used to hand over new kits to the 100 participating teams in the Gauteng SAB League for the upcoming season. In line with the SAB League’s vision of its holistic development to football, the proud sponsors of the country’s largest development league announced its Study Assistance Programme that will see players participating in the league furthering their academic studies. The study assistance programme will officially kick off in the new season and will see players building a strong academic foundation to fall back on post their football careers. The SAB League is currently in its 15th edition after being formally established in 2000. Since then, the nationwide league has proven to be the breeding ground for top scouts and continues to be a talent identification hub for South African clubs that are in search of the country’s next football stars. Not only will the SAB League unearth quality footballers, it will now produce educated footballers who are able to make informed decisions about their futures. SAB’s Economic Development Manager for Corporate Affairs, Octavious Phukubye, shared SAB’s excitement for the new season ahead, saying that the 2015/16 edition of the SAB League will take holistic development to even greater heights. ”We are quite excited at how we have taken our approach to holistic development to a new level. Today’s kit handover marks the start to the new SAB League season and we are confident that through our partnership with SAFA, we will continue producing the country’s next footballers who are equipped both on the field as well as academically,” said Phukubye. Echoing the sentiments of SAB, SAFA’s Gauteng Regional President, Anthony Reeves, said that the new season would give birth to a totally different class of footballers. ”Modern football requires players to be educated and through this exciting addition to the SAB League, we are proud as SAFA to be associated with a brand such as SAB that is pulling out all the stops in its holistic approach to football development,” said Reeves. The SAB League Kit handovers will continue across other SAB League regions during the month of November.