Local News - Issue 287

Maritzburg United And Clive Barker Have Parted Ways 

Maritzburg United have parted ways with their head coach Clive Barker. Barker joined the Team of Choice on a two-year deal in September, but after just one win in six League games ‘The Dog’ is heading for the exit. United, who started the season with Mandla Ncikazi in charge, are propping up the Absa Premiership standings with five points from 11 games. Steve Komphela steered the club to a best-ever eighth-place finish last term before switching alliances to Kaizer Chiefs. Maritzburg United chairman Farouk Kadodia believes the pressure was too much for a coach of Clive Barker’s age, prompting the two parties to part ways. Maritzburg’s next match is on December 20 against Platinum Stars and club will find are now in search of a “relegation specialist” to rescue them from their position at the bottom of the table.

The sporting spotlight turns to women’s football as SAFA and Sasol get ready to host the 2015 Sasol League National Championships in Sasolburg, Free State from 7–13 December 2015. The seventh edition of the tournament will again feature the nine provincial champions from across the country, who after finishing at the top of their provincial logs, have earned themselves a place in the Championships.  The teams scheduled to battle it out in the week-long tournament at the Harry Gwala Multipurpose Centre in Sasolburg are:  Cape Town Roses (Western Cape), Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies (Free State), Coal City Wizards FC (Mpumalanga), Red Roses FC (Eastern Cape), Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies (Gauteng), Durban Ladies FC (Kwa-Zulu Natal), Kanatla Ladies FC (Limpopo), Als Puk Tawana (North West) and the Northern Cape side Galeshewe Ladies/ RC Mills Ladies. The final match of the Sasol League National Champs will take place at the DP de Villiers Stadium on Sunday, 13 December at 15h00.The creation of the Sasol League was to provide a platform for women’s football to be developed from club level up, and by improving the standard and quality of women’s football at this level, it would also be a platform for the National Team coaches to scout for talent. The 2015 edition of the Sasol League National Championships will provide another opportunity for the South African National Women’s Football coach, to further scout for talent in the build up to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, for which Sasol Banyana Banyana has qualified. Vice President for Group Communications and Brand Management at Sasol, Elton Fortuin, expressed his excitement about the 2015 instalment of the tournament. As an incentive to celebrate the achievements of players during the tournament, Sasol and Safa will be awarding the Diski Queen of each match R1000 in prize money and all individual award winners will receive R5000 each.

Orlando Pirates head of development Augusto Palacios believes that Itumeleng Khune’s younger brother Jacob will develop into one of the best goalkeepers in the country. Jacob has been promoted into the Pirates Under-17 development team from the Augusto Palacios Apprentice Academy. “He came here about six months ago. Within a short space of time he has shown huge potential,” says Palacios. “He is agile and has great reflexes. I think he will grow the same height as Itumeleng Khune. He is humble. We have produced a number of good goalkeepers at the club including Senzo Meyiwa, Thabang Stemmer and now Brighton Mhlongo. “Jabob lacked a few things because of lack of proper development but we have a great goalkeeper coach, Lucky Shiburu who is now with Bafana Bafana, and he will be in good hands,” he adds. Jacob’s elder brother Itumeleng posted news of the youngster’s promotion on his official Instagram account over the weekend.

AmaZulu pair Goodman Dlamini and Energy Murambadoro have committed their long-term future to the National First Division club. Midfielder Dlamini - who was in demand following the team's relegation from the topflight last season - has signed a new three-year contract. Zimbabwean goalkeeper Murambadoro has penned a four-year deal. “I told myself that this a club I want to really play for when I came here, so it wasn’t too hard to recommit,” says Murambadoro. “I believe with guidance and with the experienced players we have, we can all help the younger players reach their potential and together put AmaZulu back to where we belong.”Murambadoro linked up with the promotion hopefuls in the January transfer window. Dlamini joined the Durban-based outfit in the 2010/11 campaign from African Wanderers. Meanwhile, AmaZulu have parted ways with striker Darren Smith on "amicable grounds".

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Orlando Pirates' hopes of a second continental crown in 20 years were dashed by Etoile du Sahel following a 1-0 defeat in the CAF Confederation Cup final second leg. A first-half goal by Etoile captain Ammar Jemal was enough to give the Tunisian side a 2-1 aggregate win over the Buccaneers in Sousse. Etoile's disciplined defense ultimately proved too strong for the Bucs, who succumbed to their second continental final defeat in three years. In 2013 they embarked on an amazing run in the CAF Champions League before losing 3-1 in the Final against Egyptian powerhouses Al-Ahly.  This after beating the likes of TP Mazembe and Zamalek, but a 1-1 draw at Orlando Stadium gave the Egyptians the advantage, and they cruised to a 2-0 victory in Cairo. Back in 2001, Mamelodi Sundowns came ever so close to winning the CAF Champions League. Ted Dumitru was in charge and looked on as his side were held 1-1 at home by Al-Ahly, who then thumped the Brazilians 3-0 at home for a 4-1 aggregate win. As it stands, South Africa clubs have only tasted inter-continental success twice – Pirates in the African Champions Cup in 1995, and Kaizer Chiefs in the 2001 African Cup Winners’ Cup.

Chippa United are set to swoop on former Cape Town All Stars coach Dan Malesela. The former Orlando Pirates defender is currently jobless after surprisingly parting ways with All Stars last week. Chippa coach Roger Sikhakhane says that Malesela is on his way to the club, most likely to join Floyd Mogale in an assistant coach role. 

Charges of fraud and possession of a stolen vehicle against Steve Lekoelea were withdrawn last Thursday due to a lack of evidence. The former Orlando Pirates star was arrested south of Johannesburg on Tuesday for driving a suspected stolen vehicle with a fake licence disc and number plates. The charges were withdrawn at Vereeniging Magistrates Court and Lekoelea has been released.

TP Mazembe assistant coach Zlatko Krmpotic is among those interested in the vacant Bloemfontein Celtic head coach job. The Free Staters are on the lookout for a new coach following Clinton Larsen’s shock resignation last week. Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco says they have been flooded with CVs from “top class coaches”, both locally and abroad. While he would not confirm Krmpotic’s interest, it has been reported that the Serbian is among those keen on the job. The 57-year-old won eight caps for Yugoslavia as a defender, including at the 1982 World Cup.

Ghanaian youngster Isaac Mensah is playing his cards close to his chest regarding a possible move to Kaizer Chiefs. The 18-year-old is reportedly a target for Amakhosi coach Steve Komphela, having made waves is his first two seasons at Hearts of Oak. His name has been bandied about Africa, including at Naturena, but the player was coy when asked about a potential move to South Africa. “I am a player of Hearts of Oak and that is all I can say for now,” says Mensah.

Golden Arrows goalkeeper Maximillian Mbaeva will serve a three-match suspension after being handed his second red card of the season for a similar offence just a third into the domestic season. Mbaeva was sent off over the weekend in the 3-2 defeat to Bidvest Wits after handling the ball outside the penalty box, with Ricardo Goss then replacing him and conceding twice in as many minutes. Strangely, the Namibian was also given his marching orders for handling outside the box in Arrows’ season opener against University of Pretoria. Mbaeva will now miss Arrows’ next three games, meaning he will only be back for selection for the January 23 clash against Maritzburg United. The PSL rules state that any player who gets a subsequent sending off during the same season gets a suspension that will be increased by a further one match from the suspension previously served. Should Mbaeva be sent off again this season after serving his three-match suspension he will miss another four games. Chippa United midfielder Joseph ‘Tight’ Molangoane is another player who has also already been red carded twice so far this season. Morgan Gould holds the record for the most sending offs in one season after he was red carded three times in the same season (2007/08) while turning out for Jomo Cosmos. 

Vladislav Heric is on the verge of joining Ajax Cape Town on a permanent basis. The Serbian is jobless after recently resigning from National First Division club Royal Eagles, and was recently seen at Ikamva. Details of his imminent role at the club are still sketchy, but a source claims he could work with the MultiChoice Diski Challenge team, which is currently coached by Roger Links. Ajax’s technical team is set for a reshuffle of sorts following the resignation of assistant coach Ian Taylor, who is said to be heading for FC Cape Town. 

Jomo Cosmos boss Jomo Sono has gone the legal route in a bid to secure the services of midfielder Luyolo Nomandela from Mamelodi Sundowns. Nomandela was set to join Cosmos during the last day of the transfer window on August 31 but his clearance letter from Sundowns failed to arrive in time at the PSL's offices. However, 'Mjomane' has not lost hope on getting the player registered before the end of the year. 

Kaizer Chiefs defender Erick Mathoho survived a hijacking in Tshwane last week. The Bafana Bafana star was driving with his brother and sister in Atteridgeville when three men approached them with guns and made off with the car and personal belongings. However, the car was quickly recovered by a police helicopter. Mathoho’s agent, Tim Sukazi, says that Mathoho is ‘devastated’ and struggling to comprehend what happened. However, he also had words of praise for the South African Police Service: “We applaud the police – they responded so quickly and did their job perfectly.”

South African players abroad round-up. 

Daylon Claasen featured in an eight-goal thriller for German Bundesliga II side 1860 Munich as they played to a 4-4 draw at Paderborn.

Andile Jali played the full game for his Belgian side Oostende as they grabbed an injury-time winner in a 1-0 success over Westerlo to stay in touch with the leaders at the top of the table.

Darren Keet was in goal for Kortrijk as they cruised past Waasland-Beveren with a 3-1 success to move up to fifth in the table.

May Mahlangu made his debut for Belgian side Sint-Truiden. He came off the bench with 20 minutes remaining in a disappointing 1-0 home loss to Mouscron-Peruwelz. Next target is a starting place which should come with match fitness. 

Mandla Masango, now firmly a starting XI regular, played the full game for Danish side Randers as they won 1-0 at home to Nordsjælland.

Kamohelo Mokotjo’s nightmare season at FC Twente in the Netherlands continued as his side were beaten 3-1 at home by fellow strugglers Willem II for a fifth straight defeat.

Dino Ndlovu started for Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta as they kept their championship charge on course with a 2-1 home win over Aris.

Anele Ngcongca was still missing for French Ligue 1 side Troyes as they lost 4-1 at Paris St Germain. If they avoid relegation this season it will be one of the great escapes.

Ayanda Patosi played the full game for Lokeren as they returned to winning ways with a 2-1 success at Charleroi in Belgium.

Thibang Phete has continued his rise at Portuguese side Vit√≥ria Guimaraes when he made his top-flight debut at the weekend. The 21-year-old lasted the first half against 
Boavista before being replaced, having picked up a yellow card.

Tokelo Rantie was again missing from the Bournemouth match day 18 for their thrilling English Premiership draw against Everton that finished 3-3.

Thulani Serero, who passed a late fitness test to play, scored his first goal of the season as Ajax Amsterdam defeated PEC Zwolle 2-0 to remain three points clear at the top of the Dutch league table. Serero came off the bench after 81 minutes and netted shortly afterwards.