Local News - Issue 307




AmaZulu Sack Barker

AmaZulu have sacked coach Steve Barker following the team's failure to secure an immediate return to the Absa Premiership. Barker was dismissed in the wake of a 1-0 loss to Royal Eagles on the weekend, which sees Usuthu in eighth place on the National First Division table with five games left. Barker's former assistant Delron Buckley has been appointed caretaker boss of the Durban-based outfit. The former Bafana Bafana winger will be aided by goalkeeper trainer Davies Phiri. "The coach has been notified of the decision to terminate his contract after the failure to meet our mandate of getting automatic promotion back into the Premier Division," explained club general manager Lunga Sokhela. "We have thanked him for his contribution and hard work into the first team as well his input towards our development structures. We wish him well with his future plans."

Bidvest Wits winger Daine Klate says he would be open to a move to China in the near future. The 31-year-old has a year left on his contract with The Clever Boys, though there is also an option to extend. But Klate, who despite all his success has never played abroad, says he would like to explore the option of playing in China, where a number of the world’s top players – including Alex Teixeira, Ramires and Jackson Martinez – now find themselves. “There’s also an option [with Wits] available which I’d like to see out, but I can only take it from there,” says Klate. “But I’d like to try myself out somewhere – perhaps China or maybe Dubai. I’m pretty keen on trying that avenue out if the opportunity arises.” Klate has been in sublime form for Wits this season, scoring 12 goals and assisting 11 more.

Mpumalanga Black Aces coach Muhsin Ertugral says they will recall Latvian defender Renars Rode for next season after he had a short trial with the club in January. The 26-year-old is set to return after impressing management, though money could be a stumbling block to the deal, with Ertugral confirming as much. “I brought him in and I wanted to have him, but I was afraid to put so much money down on him because he is a foreigner, but at the start of the new season he will be here,” Ertugral says. Rode previously played for FK Ventspils in his homeland and Czech outfit FK Teplice. Meanwhile, Ertugral says Tshidiso Tukane is training with the club's youth side due to disciplinary issues. Tukane, who has made 14 league appearances this season, last played for AmaZayoni on February 2 in a goalless draw with Jomo Cosmos. "Tukane is a discipline issue," says a disappointed looking Ertugral when asked about the midfielder's absence. "I was told about his disciplinary situations previously and always I was the man behind him who really wanted to get (him) out of that.”The management came out to give him a higher salary; not punishing him but giving him a higher salary. But in the end he got back to his old... I don't want to talk about it. He's training with the youth side. "He is a fantastic player and nice human being but in the end... we have a lot of youngsters running around and in the end there is no negotiation but a discipline issue. It doesn't matter who he is." Also, Ertugral says Lebohang Manyama will have his moonboot removed at the end of the month. Manyama, who has scored twice and provided four assists on loan from SuperSport United, is nursing three broken toes. In other team news, the rested Collins Mbesuma, Limbikani Mzava, Lehlohonolo Nonyane and Mpho Matsi return to contention for this weekend's Nedbank Cup quarter-final with SuperSport. The quartet missed the 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Maritzburg United this past Friday.

Former Mamelodi Sundowns player Method Mwanjali has been arrested after allegedly stabbing someone with a knife. It was reported that the CAPS United captain, along with midfielder Archford Gutu, were taken into custody after the incident at a nightclub. Club spokesman Alois Bunjira confirmed the incident: “As much as we stand by our players, we also regret the whole incident and feel sorry for all those that got hurt and we wish them a speedy recovery. “We don’t condone violence at the club. The matter will be dealt with at the club internally once the law has taken its full course. “They have since given us their side of the story and from what we heard it was a brawl which wasn’t started by themselves and they were only defending themselves following provocation.”

Moroka Swallows could find a quick way back into the top-flight with rumours that an offer for Chippa United’s status has been made. The Dube Birds were relegated from the Absa Premiership last season and have continued their free-fall to lie bottom of the First Division standings with 17 points after 25 games. But according to a source, an unnamed businessman and Gauteng Education MEC Panyanza Lesufi have made an offer to Chippa with the intention of buying the club and relocating to Gauteng next season. “There are talks going on and Mr Lesufi is leading the delegation,” a source says. “They are speaking to Chippa United and things look promising.” Lesufi confirmed that they are have started speaking to people to buy a PSL status. “There is no secret about that; we are speaking to a few teams but I cannot mention their names at this stage,” says Lesufi. “Things are being sorted and I can say 97 percent has been covered and only 3 percent is left, which are only administrative issues. We are hopeful of making an announcement soon.” Chippa are reportedly in financial trouble, though club boss Chippa Mpengesi has repeatedly played this down.

Orlando Pirates' Lehlogonolo Masalesa will miss the next four games through suspension following his third red card of the season. The midfielder was shown a second yellow card in the 4-1 win against Golden Arrows, having also seen red against Ajax Cape Town in the MTN8 and against Bidvest Wits in October. According to the PSL rules, that means he will miss four games:

51 - DISMISSALS

51.1 - Any player dismissed from the pitch, tunnel or dressing rooms by the referee (i.e. “red carded” or sent off, including dismissal as a result of two (2) yellow cards awarded in the same match) for the first time in any season will be suspended from participation in the next two (2) matches to be played by his team in any official competition under the auspices of the League.

51.2 - For each subsequent occasion that a player is dismissed during the same season the period of suspension will be increased by one (1) match from the suspension previously served.

Kaizer Chiefs have reportedly shown an interest in Chicken Inn pair Edmore Chirambadare and Mitchell Katsvairo. According to reports, the Zimbabweans recently had a trial at Naturena. Fellow Inn players Danny Phiri, Tafadzwa Kutinyu and striker Moses Demera are currently being assessed by Golden Arrows. Inn chairman Lifa Ncube is quoted as saying: “The boys performed gallantly and we’ve had a few enquiries from South African clubs about some of our players.  “We’ll not stand in any player’s way. We’re ready to strike deals.”  Amakhosi are expected to overhaul their squad in the off-season, with Morgan Gould and Siphelele Mthembu leading the list of players on the way out.

The PSL has docked a point from Platinum Stars’ Absa Premiership total and fined the club R50,000 following a disciplinary hearing regarding Siyabonga Zulu and Chippa United. The PSL issued the following statement regarding Stars’ DC outcome: ‘The PSL Disciplinary Committee met to deliberate on the matter involving Platinum Stars and Siyabonga Zulu. ‘Platinum Stars FC were found guilty of fielding Siyabonga Zulu in a match on 8 August 2015 against Mamelodi Sundowns under circumstances where the club knew that he was not eligible to play for Platinum Stars. ‘The club was also found guilty of failing to report misconduct on the part of Chippa United FC to the League. The misconduct consisted of the failure by Chippa United FC to clear the player Siyabonga Zulu back to the club from which they had loaned him. ‘Platinum Stars were sentenced to a fine of R50 000. In addition, one League point was deducted from the club with immediate effect and the club was ordered to pay the costs of the sittings.’ 

Ajax Cape Town coach Roger de Sa has confirmed the club has agreed personal terms with Kenyan midfielder Victor Abondo. The Gor Mahia attacker is poised to join the Urban Warriors at the end of the season. "It's done between us and him. He will be with us in pre-season training preparing for next season," says De Sa.  Abondo is a skillful, set-piece specialist, according to Kenyan journalist Vincent Opiyo. 

May Mahlangu’s future at Belgian club Sint-Truiden remains uncertain. The Bafana Bafana midfielder joined the team on a short-term contract in November and played 15 games, scoring two goals. But with the South African coaching pair of Chris O’Loughlin and Benni McCarthy not having their contracts renewed, it remains to be seen what the future holds for Mahlangu. “He has done well; I am sure they would love to keep him,” says the player’s agent, Rob Moore.  “The season is not yet over and nothing has been discussed yet, but we looking at different possibilities.” 

Chippa United captain James Okwuosa has dropped the biggest hint yet that he could leave the club at the end of the season. The Nigerian is out of contract at the end of June and is already within his rights to sign a pre-contract with another club. Speculation has been wide-ranging for the 25-year-old, who now holds the record for the most starts in Chippa’s three-year history in the PSL with 71 games to his name. “I think I have done enough for the club and I think I have to make a big decision now about seeking greener pastures,” says Okwuosa.  Okwuosa is into his fourth season at Chippa – three of which he has spent playing in the PSL and one in the First Division. “My contract will be expiring at the end of June and for now the club hasn’t approached me with regards to talking about a new deal. “There has been interest in my services from other clubs, but those are all issues that are being handled by my manager. My focus is to play football and give my best to my employers at all times.” 

The Premier Soccer League have confirmed a R4-million life policy payout on the late Senzo Meyiwa. The former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper was gunned down in Vosloosrus on October 26‚ 2014, and to date no-one has been brought to justice. But PSL chairman today said at least one chapter in the saga can be closed following the insurance payout, which will see half paid to the club, and half to the Meyiwa family. “It’s nice to ease the pain of the family and also to deal with the speculations around this matter [the policy] ‚” says Khoza.  “But what is important to me is not the money. What is important is that the murder of Senzo must be solved. It is important for justice in South Africa‚ and for the confidence of this country.” 

National First Division side Royal Eagles have appointed Kosta Papic as the technical advisor of the club, according to chairman Sbu Mpisane. The Serbian resigned from his post as coach of NFD side Black Leopards last month, having earlier this season been on the bench at Polokwane City.  Eagles recently parted ways with head coach Khabo Zondo and the role is currently held by the trio of Bheka Phakathi, Abram Nteo and John Tlali until the end of the season. “I have brought in Papic to take over as the technical adviser for now to try and close the gap we are having,” says Mpisane. Papic has previously coached Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzburg United. The 55-year-old’s advisory role will come in handy as Eagles are third on the log table, five points behind leaders Baroka FC with five matches to go.   

Golden Arrows have released strikers Mwape Musonda and Ryan Chapman, while they are assessing three players from Zimbabwe in preparation for next season. Musonda and Chapman were on loan at Arrows from Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits. "The club has made a collective decision to promote our young players and give them necessary game-time in readiness for next season," says club coach Clinton Larsen, who recently cut ties with another hitman, Mabhuti Khenyeza. "Both Chapman and Musonda were on loan at the club and in order for us to blood in young players we need to downsize the club and that has been the reason why we released them. "We are using these last seven games to give some of our younger players from the Multichoice Diski team valuable time and exposure for next season." Meanwhile, Chicken Inn trio Danny Phiri, Tafadzwa Kutinyu and striker Moses Demera are currently on trial at Abafana Bes'thende. "Yes, we have them in our training for an assessment at the moment and it is the time now to assess trialists until the end of the season," says Larsen. "However, they won't be the first and last and we are going to be bringing in many more trialists in the next month or so to look at so that we can identify players for next season."

South African players abroad

Daylon Claasen started for German Bundesliga II side 1860 Munich as they lost 2-1 at fellow strugglers Duisburg to drop into the automatic relegation positions with four rounds remaining.

Andile Jali suffered a third defeat in a row as his KV Oostende side lost 2-0 at Gent to likely end their hopes of qualifying for the Europa League next season.

There was no Kermit Erasmus again for Rennes as they lost 3-0 at Guingamp in Ligue 1 to likely end their hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League next season.

Dani Ladeira made a third start in as many games for Macedonian side Mladost Carev Dvor, who remain rooted to the bottom of the table after a 1-0 home loss to Skhupi.

Bafana winger Mandla Masango scored a superb bicycle-kick goal to help his Danish side Randers to a 2-0 victory over AGF. It was his fifth goal of the season and easily his best.

Kamohelo Mokotjo missed FC Twente’s 1-1 draw at De Graafschap in the Dutch league after returning to South Africa following the passing of his father last week.

Dino Ndlovu was missing for Anorthosis Famagusta as they lost 3-0 at home to Omonia Nicosia in the Cypriot championship playoffs.

Ayanda Patosi was a second half substitute as Lokeren kept up their challenge for a place in the Europe League play-offs with a 1-0 victory over May Mahlangu’s Sint Truiden. The latter missed out through injury.

Thibang Phete played the final 20 minutes for Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes as they continued their slide down the table with a 3-0 loss at Maritimo.

Lebogang Phiri played for Brondby in their 2-0 loss at champions-elect FC Copenhagen in Denmark.

Bradley Ralani scored his second goal of the season for Danish second-tier side Lyngby as they stayed on course for promotion with a 2-0 win over Næstved.

Granwald Scott came on midway through the second half for Slovan Bratislava in their 3-1 win at Senica that moves them to within six points of leaders Trencín.

Thulani Serero was on the bench for Ajax Amsterdam as they scored twice late on to scrape a 2-2 draw at home to Utrecht in the Dutch league. Ajax now lead defending champions PSV Eindhoven on goal-difference alone at the top of the table with three games left in the season.

Tiya Shipalane bagged a second goal in three games for USA second-tier side Carolina Railhawks as they continued their fine start to the season with a 1-0 victory over Ottawa Fury.

Luther Singh started for second-tier GAIS as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Syrianska but compatriot Pule Maraisane was not in the match day squad.

Joel Untersee played for Vaduz in the Swiss league as they lost a nine-goal thriller 5-4 to Young Boys to slip back to the bottom of the table.