News24

Dangerous Darkies are back

2002-12-18 13:39

Johannesburg - Mpumalanga's historic soccer team, Dangerous Darkies, have exploded back onto the sporting scene after signing up former Bafana Bafana coach Trott Moloto and two other national stars.

Moloto physically took over the helm at the Nelspruit-based team at the weekend, and immediately began putting former Bafana Bafana defender David Nyathi and midfielder Dumisa Ngobe through their paces along with the rest of the team's younger recruits.

Moloto's appointment forms part of an ambitious revitalisation of the virtually moribund team, which was established in 1937 by Sigangni Mashaba and earned its cheeky name from local white and coloured teams who were surprised at its strength despite a lack of resources.

Dangerous Darkies later featured prominently in the premier league in the early 1990s, when it gave Nyathi and other rising young stars such as Richard 'cash & carry' Twala their first breaks.

Other Darkies 'graduates' include SA Football Association (Safa) technical coach Simon Ngomane.

The club fell on hard times, however, in the late 1990s and eventually merged with Mpumalanga's only other highprofile team, Witbank Aces, after which it was briefly known as the Dangerous Aces for two lacklustre seasons.

"All that has changed now. We are reclaiming our proud history, have changed our name back to the Dangerous Darkies, and are signing on experienced superstars to balance the raw talent amongst our younger players," said club spokesperson, Nhlanhla Dlamini.

"We believe the big match temperament possessed by Moloto, Nyathi and Ngobe will help mould our younger players into a formidable force in South African soccer."

New club general manager Bereng Kholoane adds that owner and prominent Mpumalanga businessman Richard Gumede intends building the Dangerous Darkies name into a household brand similar to those in the United Kingdom and United States, where club names are used to market everything from clothing to holidays.

"It's this type of vision that has lured big names back to the Darkies. Trott had very lucrative offers elsewhere, for example, but chose to come here because of we're so serious about building the brand and the team," said Kholoane.

Kholoane was himself headhunted from Dynamos, where he was a consultant to club management. Kholoane has previously served as general manager at Rio Stars and Bloemfontein Celtic.

Dlamini added that even though Moloto is a 'big name' in the soccer world he didn't need much convincing to join the club.

"Trott looked at where we wanted to go and associated himself with our vision", said Dlamini.

Moloto has reportedly adjusted to his new position and the team is training hard.

The team's first game under Moloto was on December 14 when they played the Welkom Stars at the KaNyamazane Stadium. - African Eye News Service