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Tinkler: South American market has opened up to SA

Eric Tinkler

Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler says more DStv Premiership clubs are attracting South American players because "football is struggling financially".

While the likes of Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns have employed players from South America over the years, the league's 'so-called' smaller clubs have largely missed out.

But while City snapped up Venezuelan winger Darwin Gonzalez this January transfer window, rivals Stellenbosch secured the signature of Venezuelan striker Juan Carlos Ortiz - to follow Argentina midfielder Junior Mendieta to the ambitious club.

Sundowns, meanwhile, picked up Bolivian midfielder Erwin Saavedra.

Tinkler said in the Sowetan: "The South American market has opened because football is struggling at the moment, financially.

"A lot of South Americans used to find their way to Europe and Europe now doesn’t have the money they used to have, so now that market has slightly opened up even to SA."

Tinkler added: "There's a lot of talent that exists in South America. The brand of football they play is pretty much very similar to the brand we play.

"They are very technical players, so they turn to adapt a lot quicker, I think, to our brand of football.

"[Mamelodi Sundowns' Uruguayan winger Gaston] Sirino is a prime example...there's a boy at Stellies – Mendieta."