Clubs keep ball rolling in PSL pre-season training

2011-07-30 19:23

With two weeks to the start of the 2011/12 season, DANIEL MOTHOWAGAE looks beyond Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates to reflect on activities at 14 other Absa Premiership clubs.

AmaZulu take part in an ­all-KZN club ­inaugural Premier Cup at King ­Zwelithini ­Stadium today.

Other clubs are Golden ­Arrows, Maritzburg United and Thanda Royal Zulu.

And next Sunday Usuthu and United will play in the Uthukela Mayoral Cup in ­Ladysmith against Uthukela ­Invitational XI and Jomo Cosmos.

Ajax Cape Town are in ­Bloemfontein to take part in the Old Mutual Mangaung Cup at Botshabelo Stadium today.

Ajax were scheduled to face Black Leopards this morning while Bloemfontein Celtic meet Moroka Swallows at midday.

Leopards will move their ­offices to Peter Mokaba ­Stadium in Polokwane, where they will play their home ­matches this season.

Another match today sees Bidvest Wits host Mozambican giants Costa do Sol in a ­“football against xenophobia” game at Sinaba Stadium in ­Daveyton, Ekurhuleni.

Coach Roger de Sa said the game will help his side in their build-up ahead of the MTN8 Cup clash against Kaizer Chiefs next weekend.

Celtic coach Clinton Larsen said they had not made too many changes to the squad, and he ­expected defender Erick ­Mathoho back from trials at Dutch club FC Twente today.

Free State Stars held part of their training in Klerkdorp, North West and have also ­announced that they will play some of their home games at Charles Mopeli Stadium in QwaQwa.

Arrows are nearing the end of their seven-week pre-season training.

The club have enlisted Dillon Sheppard (ex-Platinum Stars), Gert Schalkwyk and Katlego Mashego (both former Pirates players) and Namibian youth goalkeeper Vigill Vries.

Cosmos will continue with their preparations in the Mopani Mayoral Charity Cup at ­Giyani Stadium in Limpopo today.

Thereafter, the top-flight ­returnees Cosmos, who played two matches in ­Swaziland last week, will travel to Ladysmith.

Ezenkosi have so far signed striker Dondo Taonga ­(Dynamos, Zimbabwe), defender Lebo Pila (former College ­footballer in the US), midfielder Mbulelo Wambi (University of Pretoria) and striker Modibo Sidibe (Niger).

Mamelodi Sundowns this week concluded their two-week pre-season camp in Swaziland.

New coach Johan Neeskens used friendly matches against Swazi clubs Manzini Wanderers and Mbabane Highlanders to look at new players such as Punch Masenamela, Nigerian striker Gbolohan Salami and Musa Nyatama, who was recalled on loan from Maritzburg.

They will also feature in the ­Mopani Mayoral Charity Cup.

Maritzburg completed their training camp in Joburg this week. Coach Ian Palmer believes the five-day camp will help his side yield better results when they play inland.

“The Team of Choice”, who have signed former Celtic ­midfielder Prince Olomu, played warm-up matches against ­Swallows and SuperSport ­United midweek.

The Birds this week signed Zimbabwean right back Gilbert Mapemba from Caps United.

Platinum Stars have new faces in Morgan Shivambu ­(Swallows), Sipho Nkosi (Free State Stars), Tshifhiwa Mmbooi (Chiefs), Elias Ngwepe ­(Maritzburg), Robert Ng’ambi (Leopards), Jackson ­Mabokgwane (Sundowns, loan), Lindo Mbatha (Black Aces) and Innocent Mkhabela (Sivutsa Stars).

Stars will participate in a ­four-team tournament in ­Botswana next weekend.

Santos will meet Ajax in a curtain-raiser to the final of the Engen Under-17 Knockout ­Challenge at Stephen Reagan Grounds in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, today.

SuperSport United’s ­pre-season has been hampered by ­injury to new acquisition ­Sibusiso Zuma.

The former Vasco da Gama striker ruptured his Achilles ­tendon during the club’s ­training camp in Port Elizabeth last week and is likely to be out of action for up to six months.

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