Local News - Issue 309




Denis Onyango Wins Uganda Footballer of the Year

Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango expressed his delight after being awarded the 2015 Ugandan Player of the Year award. The Brazilians’ shot-stopper claimed the prestigious accolade, voted for by Uganda’s top sports journalists in the Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA), ahead of national teammate and striker Farouk Miya, as he became the first goalkeeper to win the award since its inception in 1979. “The award means a lot to me, especially because not many goalkeepers get to win this category,” Onyango was quoted as saying on his club’s official website. “It’s all been all about maturity, self-belief and also the competition that I have at the club and national team.” A regular for title-chasing Sundowns, Onyango helped his club lift the Telkom Knockout trophy last year in a man-of-the-match display, and thanked his club for helping him achieve the award. “Sundowns contributed to this award as we won both the Nedbank Cup and the Telkom Knockout in 2015,” he said. “Also, the Uganda national team, The Cranes, put in some outstanding performances. “I also want to thank the management and coaching staff of Mamelodi Sundowns who gave me the opportunity to play – and more importantly, my wife and children who supported me throughout." The 30-year-old, who has 49 national team caps to his name, added that his achievement was dedicated to Uganda teammate Dhaira Abbey, who recently passed away. 

SuperSport United have reportedly identified three Kaizer Chiefs players they are looking to sign ahead of the new season. Reyaad Pieterse is thought to be on his way to Matsatsantsa after turning down Amakhosi’s contract offer. Also on Stuart Baxter’s list is Reneilwe Letsholonyane, who is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal at Naturena, despite reportedly agreeing in principle to stay on. Baxter said over the weekend that he would be interested in signing Letsholonyane – or any other good player – should he become available. The other player who could make the move is Siphelele Mthembu, who has found game-time hard to come by since arriving from Platinum Stars. He has only started three league games this season and come on as a substitute eight times, and is yet to find the back of the net. SuperSport have already secured the services of Polokwane City midfielder Cole Alexander on a pre-contract.

Bidvest Wits CEO Jose Ferreira has confirmed that Gerald Phiri Jnr has received his South African permanent residence permit as well as the signing of Zimbabwe PSL top scorer Knox Mutizwa. Midiflelder Phiri signed for Wits at the beginning of the season but could not be registered due to a delay in receiving permanent residence. The Clever Boys midfielder is born to a South African father which qualifies him for local permanent residence and paves the way for Bidvest Wits to register him as a local player. Ferreira has confirmed that the 25-year-old's papers have finally been cleared. “Everything has been sorted. He is back but will only be registered next season,” says Ferreira. Ferreira also confirmed the signing of Zimbabwean striker Knox Mutizwa from Bulawayo Highlanders after he impressed during a trial in December. The 22-year-old, who scored 14 goals in 17 starts for Highlanders last season, is expected to be registered as a foreigner next season.

Stuart Baxter has explained why SuperSport United have decided to part ways with Mark Mayambela. ‘Professor’ joined the club during the January transfer window from Chippa United when Gordon Igesund was in charge, but has hardly seen any action following Baxter’s arrival. SuperSport brand ambassador Jabu Mahlangu warned Mayambela of taking his football seriously, and Baxter concedes that the player fell short of what was required of him. “The club has to give an official statement,” he says. “We made demands of our players and we made demands of their behaviour on and off the field. “Mark fell short, despite me giving him a heads up of what we expect and he didn’t go a lot better. You’ve got a bit of responsibility somewhere about football, society and the kids watching you play, so the club parted company with him. “They have to give an official [statement] of what they did, but that is the secret … and the club will have to come with some agreement with him [about his package].” 

Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen says the club will do its utmost to sign Gladwin Shitolo on a permanent deal from Orlando Pirates. Shitolo has impressed on loan at Arrows this season, scoring three goals in 22 league outings for the Durban-based outfit. Pirates also farmed the midfielder out to Platinum Stars last term, and he faces a battle for game-time on his return to Mayfair from the likes of Lehlogonolo Masalela, Issa Sarr and Thandani Ntshumayelo. "I think we know which players that are on loan we would like to keep and Shitolo is one of them," says Larsen. "He’s an integral part of this team and we will try our level best to make his stay a permanent one. (Hellings) Mhango goes to Bidvest Wits so we lose him. Other players have long left like (Ryan) Chapman, (Mwape) Musonda and we are in the market also." Meanwhile, Larsen says Arrows are in talks with Chicken Inn regarding a trial. Chicken Inn trio Danny Phiri, Tafadzwa Kutinyu and Moses Demetra all recently had an assessment with the Absa Premiership side.

Platinum Stars have officially parted ways with Masibusane Zongo. The multi-talented but troubled playmaker had been hauled in front of a disciplinary committee after his latest misdemeanour, and the club have now had enough, announcing his exit on their Twitter feed. Dikwena have also confirmed that Mbongeni Mzimela and Khulekani Madondo have been handed ‘hefty fines’ and placed on final warning after they too were charged with issues relating to ill-discipline. “Platinum Stars Football Club takes matters of discipline seriously and has welcomed and accepted the findings and the recommendations of the chairperson," Stars general manager Senzo Mazingiza is quoted on the club's website. "Consequently, Mr Mzimela and Mr Madondo have been issued with written warnings and fined as recommended by the chairperson. Mr Zongo’s employment has been terminated with immediate effect as recommended by the chairperson. "Out of respect for the rights of the individuals involved, Platinum Stars Football Club will not disclose the monetary fines imposed on Mr Mzimela and Mr Madondo nor make any further comments on this matter. “We would like to thank Mr Zongo for his contribution to the club and wish him well in his future endeavors. We hope for improvement in all aspects from Mr Mzimela and Mr Madondo. "Platinum Stars is bigger than all of us. It’s important that we do our best to serve the interests of the club and conduct ourselves in manner that contributes to the growth of the brand that is Platinum Stars Football Club. "It is incumbent upon us, from the management, the technical team, and the players to everyone on the employ of Platinum Stars to always adhere to conduct that is responsible and above board.”

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has confirmed that the club has signed teenage sensation Shungu Dutiro in a bid to boost their striking force. Dutiro has been promoted from the club’s development structures after  helping his side qualify for the Future Champions Gauteng International finals. The 17-year-old star was named top goal-scorer in the tournament played in Soweto last month, and is tipped for a bright future, with Hunt now opting to give him a chance to shine in the PSL.

Chippa United defender James Okwuosa could be heading to Orlando Pirates next season. Okwuosa's contract with United is set to expire in June and he has already indicated a desire to seek greener pastures. According to a source close to Okwuosa, Pirates have made a strong offer to the Nigerian, and he is expected to soon sign a pre-contract with the Buccaneers. "It's well documented that he will not be playing for Chippa next season," says the source. "Pirates have made an irresistible offer and he could be in the black and white colours next season." Okwuosa's agent Mohamed Awal confirmed that his client is heading to Gauteng next season but refused to disclose the name of the team.

Cape Town All Stars are proud to announce the signing of former Kaizer Chiefs and Zimbabwe international midfielder Tinashe Nengomasha. Nengomasha spent a highly successful decade with Amakhosi; winning just about every domestic trophy on offer with the Soweto club and also being named the PSL Player, and Players’ Player of the Year.  The former Black Aces Harare midfield hardman also represented Bidvest Wits and Mpumalanga Black Aces, and was a key member of the Zimbabwean national team for many years. “We are very pleased to confirm that Tinashe has signed for Cape Town All Stars,” said club CEO Elasto Kapoweza. “Bringing in a player of this calibre shows that the club means business, and that we have great ambition. “Tinashe will bring great experience to the team, he will bring leadership qualities, and he will boost the options we have in the centre of the park. We welcome Tinashe to Igugu Lekapa and trust that his stay may be a successful one.”

Collins Mbesuma has an option of a further year on his contract at Mpumalanga Black Aces where he is expected to remain for at least another season. Mbesuma joined Aces in July 2014 on a two-year deal after a difficult last season at Orlando Pirates during which he scored just once. The Zambian has this season turned back the hands of time and is leading the PSL scoring charts with 13 goals - earning a nomination for the KICK OFF Footballer of the Season award. It was confirmed that Aces are settled on their captain which is why there hasn’t been any hullabaloo around the stocky forward as typically happens with a top-scoring forward at a modest club. “Aces have an option for a further year with regards to Mbesuma,” says a source.

South African players abroad 

Daylon Claasen scored his second goal of the season for German Bundesliga II side 1860 Munich as they gave a massive boost to their survival hopes with a 2-0 victory over St Pauli. The win moves 1860 out of the relegation zone for almost the first time this season with two matches remaining in the campaign.

Kagisho Dikgacoi made his second league start since November for English Championship side Cardiff City, but their hopes of reaching the promotion play-offs were ended with a 3-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.

Andile Jali laid on both goals for his Belgian side KV Oostende as they beat Zulte-Waregem 2-1 to stay in contention for the UEFA Europa League play-off position. The second Oostende goal was scored by former Kaizer Chiefs striker Knowledge Musona, who came off the bench in the second half.

Darren Keet was left on the bench as Kortrijk beat Standard Liege 1-0 to secure top spot in their Play-Off II pool and advance to the next stage of qualifying for the Europa League.

May Mahlangu played for Sint Truiden in their 1-1 draw away at Mechelen, the penultimate game of the season for the club.

Mandla Masango played for Danish side Randers in their 2-2 away draw with FC Nordsjælland.

Kamohelo Mokotjo played for Dutch side FC Twente as they were humbled 4-0 by Ajax Amsterdam.

Ayanda Patosi and his Lokeren side blew a 2-0 lead to draw at Sporting Charleroi, conceding the equaliser in the fourth minute of injury-time. It means Lokeren must better the result of Charleroi in their final Europa League qualifying pool match next weekend as they host Mechelen and their rivals travel to Sint Truiden.

Thibang Phete started for Vitoria Guimaraes as they lost to top side Benfica 1-0 in the Portuguese league. The South African youngster played the full game.

Lebogang Phiri was brought off the bench midway through the second half as Brondby lost 3-0 at Aalborg in Denmark.

Ntuthuko Radebe missed out on promotion to the Belgian top-flight when his Eupen side could only manage a draw at Antwerp and White Star Brussels finished top to secure their first ever top-flight season in 2016/17.

Granwald Scott missed out on silverware with Slovan Bratislava as his side were beaten 3-1 by Trencin in the Slovak Cup final. Scott started for his new side, but despite his team taking the lead early in the second half, they were not able to maintain the advantage and so a rare opportunity for a South African to lift a trophy in Europe this season was gone.

Thulani Serero helped Ajax Amsterdam take a step closer to the Dutch league title as he played the first 70 minutes of their 4-0 win over FC Twente. Ajax must just match the result of PSV Eindhoven next Sunday to be crowned champions.

Luther Singh started for Swedish second-tier side GAIS as they played to a 0-0 home draw with Orgryte.

Lars Veldwijk netted his 14th goal of the Dutch league season as PEC Zwolle drew 2-2 away at Excelsior Rotterdam to stay in contention for the UEFA Europa League playoffs.