Four foreign signings push quota over the limit as club boss promises to reveal a plan
“I can’t comment on these players because I don’t know who they are.”
These were startling words from former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana skipper Lucas “Rhoo” Radebe when asked by City Press about the club’s recent signings.
The players he was referring to are Zambian striker Lazarous Kambole, Ghanaian James Kotei, Serbian Samir Nurkovic and Durban-born Kearyn Baccus, who was signed from Australian club Melbourne City.
“They must be good for Chiefs to sign them because we can’t afford to be as disappointed as last season,” said Radebe.
“The club hit rock bottom last season and they can only get better this time around.”
“The Chief”, as he was baptised by the legions of Leeds United during his sterling career in England, further said that it was not going to be easy to take the club back to the top, and that it would have to be a process. But we need at least one trophy this season.”
Given his potency in front of goals, news of Kambole’s signing was met with excitement in his home country, while Kotei and Nurkovic’s capture drew a lukewarm reception.
However, Baccus, who has not scored a goal in five years, has come up for some stick before even kicking a single ball in anger.
He will have to do much to gain the confidence of the highly demanding Amakhosi faithfuls.
The signing of these players has already created a headache for Chiefs as they now have nine players on their books who are not South Africa-born.
However, two of them – Zimbabweans Khama Billiat and Willard Katsande – have been naturalised as South African citizens.
The PSL rules allow clubs to have only five non-South Africans registered at any given time.
Chiefs will have to let some or all of the following players go: Leonardo Castro (Colombian), Daniel Akpeyi (Nigerian), Arohasina Andrianarimanana (Malagasy) and Teenage Hadebe (Zimbabwean).
News is that Hadebe is close to securing a move to Turkish side Yeni Malatyaspor.
Amakhosi supporters will have to wait a bit longer for an answer to the question that has been on many lips, namely: “Do Chiefs have something up their sleeve that will please us, their long-suffering supporters, in the 2019/20 season?”
The club’s football manager, Bobby Motaung, told City Press on Saturday: “We will make an announcement on our grand plans for the new season soon.”
Without giving much away, Motaung said he had been on leave. He was only returning to the office tomorrow, when he would liaise with all the relevant parties within the club. Only then would they make a public announcement, he said.
They would decide in conjunction with the club’s media department whether to call a “mass press conference or invite a select few members of the media”, he said.
While all this has been happening, Chiefs’ bitter rivals, Orlando Pirates, who finished second to Mamelodi Sundowns in the league for two successive seasons, have made their intentions clear.
The Buccaneers have signed Gabadinho Mhango, Fortune Makaringe, Austin Muwowo, Siphesihle Ndlovu and Kabelo Dlamini in a bid to up the ante.
And indications are that they are not done yet with their news. Word is that they are keen on signing Bradley Grobler from SuperSport United.
However, Matsatsantsa a Pitori’s chief executive officer, Stan Matthews, said Grobler was not for sale as the club was planning to have him form a deadly partnership with Thamsanqa Gabuza, who was recently signed from Pirates.
After being quiet for a while, league champions Mamelodi Sundowns on Friday announced the signing of 27-year-old Uruguayan striker Mauricio Affonso from Peruvian First Division side Alianza Lima Club.
He has previously played in Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Peru, as well as Venezuela.
Downs, who are at a preseason camp in Mbombela, are yet to confirm the signing of defender Nyiko Mobbie from Free State Stars.
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