PSL’s old age home

2012-02-25 15:00

Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United fans who have endured taunts from supporters of other clubs claiming that the two are the retirement villages of the PSL can relax.

Leopards and Chiefs have taken over – they now have the oldest teams in the league.

At 39, Kaizer Chiefs’ goalkeeper Arthur Bartman is the league’s oldest player while AmaZulu’s 17-year-old Siyabonga Thwala holds the record for being the youngest.

After the signing of Luis Boa Morte (34) during the last transfer window and having signed Benni McCarthy, also 34, Pirates seem to be vying for the title of the squad with the oldest players in the league.

United, who signed the well travelled Sibusiso Zuma (36) and Nasief Morris (30) recently, added to a list which consists of the likes of Glen Salmon (34).

Even with Siyabonga Nomvethe, Macbeth Sibaya and James Mayinga, who are all in their thirties (34 to be exact), Moroka Swallows’ nest still doesn’t quite resemble an old age home yet.

In fact, eight of their 43 registered players are over 30.

But, a City Press investigation into the average age of PSL teams – adding together the ages of all registered players and dividing it by the number of players – shows that relegation-haunted Leopards are leaders in at least one aspect of the beautiful game.

Although they only have four players over the age of 30, their undoing is their lack of youngsters.

Their youngest player, Harry Nyirenda, is 21.

Wits, on the other hand, has registered youngsters such as Zaid Patel and Nicholas Hoffman (both 18) to continue the trend they share with Ajax Cape Town, who have Kyle Peters (18) and their two 19-year-olds, Mogammed Losper and George Akpabio, as the kindergarten of the PSL.

Jomo Cosmos’ Shane Thompson is also only 1```8.

As should be the case, the Students have eight players who are under 20.

But Pirates supporters should be worried that there are not many youngsters coming up into the team from their development structures.

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