‘There is more coming'
The arrival of German coach Josef Zinnbauer at Orlando Pirates has coincided with Gabadinho Mhango suddenly raising his performance. His seven goals in Zinnbauer’s first four matches have elevated him to double figures already with a loud shout in the top scorers’ award chase. As Malawi’s top export, Mhango knows he is representing many back home, and thus carries the desire to aim high. He spoke to KICK OFF’s Lovemore Moyo, revealing he believes there is more coming from him.
‘I should have won 12 times'
Samuel Eto’o announced his retirement from professional football in 2019 and leaves behind a legacy that many consider sees him as the greatest African footballer of all time with 18 major titles won for club and country. KICK OFF’s Lorenz Kohler sat down with the four-time CAF African Player of the Year at the Duqesa de Cardona hotel in Barcelona before El Clasico to find out his role in the Castle Lager Africa Fives project and look back on an iconic career that started back in 1997.
The incredible coaching journey of Pitso Mosimane
If Mamelodi Sundowns go on and retain their Absa Premiership title at the end of the season, Pitso Mosimane will have won a fifth championship and become the most successful coach in the history of the sport in South Africa. Soweto-born Mosimane has an all-consuming passion for the game, starting in his playing career and now well into his mid-50s. His hunger for victory remains all too evident, even if the novelty of winning is now long past. With Sundowns he has won four of the last six league championships, and in so doing, matched the feats of four titles won by the likes of Jeff Butler, Ted Dumitru, Gordon Igesund and Gavin Hunt. But he has already gone one better than them by also winning the African Champions League – the Holy Grail on the continent. But how did Mosimane start out coaching, what fueled his passion and what was his journey to the top. It is a fascinating insight, told exclusively to KICK OFF’s Mark Gleeson.
The Best Of South Africa's Clasico
Kaizer Chiefs versus Orlando Pirates is one of football’s great derby matches with a rich history, both good and bad, that has helped to create a sports event that is the biggest in South Africa. It is perhaps the only fixture that can bring the country to a stand-still and down the years there has been some epic fixtures. KICK OFF’s Mark Gleeson picks out 10 of the best.
Should He Stay Or Should He Go?
Three months after taking over Orlando Pirates, Rhulani Mokwena hasn’t elevated the club to where the fans expected. This has naturally raised questions about whether it was premature to hand him the job. KICK OFF’s Lovemore Moyo investigates Mokwena’s appointment, tenure and what could possibly be the way forward.
‘We Know How To Win The League'
Mamelodi Sundowns winger Lyle Lakay feels that there is no need to panic over the pace that Kaizer Chiefs have set in the Absa Premiership championship race, insisting that the Brazilians have the edge in terms of experience. KICK OFF’s Lovemore Moyo spoke to the 28-year-old, who spent most of his five years at Bloemfontein Celtic trying to get out of the club.
Chiefs' Missing Link
Kaizer Chiefs’ excellent start to the 2019/20 Premier Soccer League season has been a great team effort, but there is one man who stands out head and shoulders above the rest as the catalyst for their upturn in fortunes. Serbian striker Samir Nurkovic was a little-known journeyman forward before he arrived at Naturena at the beginning of the campaign, but has almost single-handedly improved the side’s attacking fortunes. KICK OFF’s Nick Said investigates what makes Nurkovic such a quality addition and why he can fire Chiefs to the league title.
Umahamba Yedwa – The Lone Ranger
It’s tough living in a world where you watch European football from the sidelines, without colours to nail to the mast. Globalisation of the English game, as well as the Spanish and Italian leagues has compelled us to form allegiance with one or more European countries. But, KICK OFF’s Stephen Kihn, who is without friend or foe in any international league, has found the loneliness of a vegetarian at a braai, as he navigates his way through the football world without a club to support.
From the moment a young, scrawny but immensely talented Ayanda Patosi walked through the doors of the now defunct Africa Soccer Development (ASD) Academy in Cape Town, he looked destined for Europe. Following six relatively successful years in Belgium, the 24-year-old somewhat surprisingly signed for ambitious Premier Soccer League club Cape Town City in June. Was his return an easy, desperate or premature move? Or did it purely make sense for all parties? Here, his former academy principal, and Patosi himself, give their views.
Micho Needs Mucho Macho
If former Bucs coach Kjell Jonevret is to be believed, being the head coach of Orlando Pirates is a bit like being the White House chief of staff. In both jobs, you are granted just enough power to understand, slowly and painfully, just how powerless you actually are. This is not to equate Irvin Khoza with Donald Trump. The two men are worlds apart – not least because Khoza must have at least 50 IQ points on that mighty moron with his thumb on the nuke button.
Jayiya Lives Childhood Dream
Bhongolwethu Jayiya was part of Cape Town City’s whirlwind debut season, contributing an outstanding hat-trick against Chippa United as the Citizens finished an impressive third on the Absa Premiership table. Now that he has made the incredible step up to the Glamour Boys, a life-long dream of his, the pressure to achieve has been turned up a few notches. Here he tells KICK OFF’s Lovemore Moyo about his journey to Naturena.
Defiled: What Happened To Brand Bafana?
With national team caps being handed out like playing cards these days, the lustre of the Bafana Bafana jersey has long since dimmed. The brand is nowhere near as strong as it used to be, and the blame for this should fall squarely on the shoulders of the South African Football Association (SAFA).
Another Sangweni Sea Robber
The sudden departure of Oupa Manyisa from Orlando Pirates to Mamelodi Sundowns at the beginning of August automatically meant the baton of midfield responsibilities has been passed on to new signing Thamsanqa Sangweni. Following in the footsteps of his brother Siyabonga, can the second Sangweni to wear the famous black and white transform The Sea Robbers back to the top, where they belong? KICK OFF’s Lovemore Moyo finds out …
AMO Scores USA Move
The women’s game in South Africa is prime for its next superstar to take over the headlines in the same vein that former Arsenal Ladies trialist and Banyana Banyana goal-scoring sensation Portia Modise once did. That void could soon be filled by young, former University of Western Cape (UWC) Ladies midfielder Amogelang Motau, who joined the likes of Samford’s Jermaine Seoposenwe and Houston Dash’s Janine van Wyk in plying her trade in the USA. This is the story of her rise to prominence.
A Rose Amongst The Thorns
Having a parent in the limelight usually comes with pressure on the child to become as successful or to follow in their parent’s footsteps. Things don’t become any easier when the parent and child share the same passion. They are often compared and pitted against one another. Former South African Under-23 international, Junaid Hartley, used to mesmerise opponents with his skills but his journey was cut short when he fell into the trap of recreational drugs. The drugs didn’t just cost him his career, but also put in dire jeopardy his relationship with his eldest daughter, Faa-Iqah Hartley. This is her story …
Leading From The Front
Siphiwe Tshabalala’s face lights up whenever he talks about Arsenal legend Thierry Henry. He got to meet the retired Frenchman before the start of the new season at Naturena and it’s exactly the type of motivation he needed to psych himself up for what’s arguably going to be his most difficult season in his 10-and-a-half-year stay with Amakhosi. KICK OFF’s Tshepang Mailwane caught up with the veteran to find out how they will turn things around at the Glamour Boys.
Silencing The Critics
Having joined as a relatively unknown striker, with no eye-popping history of his ability, Gustavo Paez has begun to settle in well at Kaizer Chiefs over the last six months, and is looking to help Amakhosi return to their glory days in the 2017/18 Premier Soccer League season. Everyone took a dig at his journeyman background and they expected to see another failed mercenary unpack their suitcase at Naturena. Oh, how wrong they were …
Ageless Bhele still on target
When Siyabonga Nomvethe began his career as a burgeoning 20-yearold striker at African Wanderers, soon to earn a move to Kaizer Chiefs, he had a fire in his eyes that burned as brightly as his speed of movement and thought on the pitch. Now, at the ripe old age of 39, the fire is far from extinguished from the veteran striker’s eyes, even though his pace has started to slow. KICK OFF’s Robin-Duke Madlala caught up with “Bhele”, who is still regularly banging in the goals in the National First Division.
The latest bafana bafana squad has ushered in a new dawn, with a number of young and exciting prospects handed the opportunity to shine on the international stage. A number of teenage attacking talents now have the opportunity to put to bed the long-standing quip of “finding the new benni mccarthy”. Here, the former bafana bafana star himself tells kick off what he thinks.
Mano A Mano In Combat With Mano-Mano
Helder “Mano-Mano” Muianga missed out on a dream move to the English Premier League, but says he still remains proud of his career, which he spent mostly in South Africa. Now he hopes his new project back home in Mozambique will help him emulate his mentor, Jomo Sono.
Back With A Bang
It has not been all plain sailing in the professional career of chippa united forward lerato manzini, but this season he is back to his best form and proving once again what many have long known – he is one of the best finishers in the premier soccer league.
Many football fans know Pitso Mosimane and Manqoba Mngqithi as the high-profile coaches at Mamelodi Sundowns, but forget there’s also Rhulani Mokwena who completes the ‘three musketeers’ of coaches of the Ka BoYellow first team. Mokwena shares how it is to work at Sundowns and what he also brings to the yellow-table that saw the club win their first African Champions League trophy last year. “I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world. I’ve done my Italian course in 2007 when I was still at Platinum Stars. I’ve travelled to Germany where I met coaches from Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, and Barcelona in 2009; I’ve gone to Manchester and I’ve just comeback from Liverpool, ”Mokwena tells KICK OFF in this exclusive interview.
The Million Rand Man
At just 20 years old, Carlo Scott became the first R1-million signing in the Premier Soccer League when he switched from Ajax Cape Town to Gauteng giants Mamelodi Sundowns in January 2001. With extraordinary amounts of cash thrown about in transfers now the norm, Scott reflects what it was like for him to earn a big-money move and the pressures thereof.
Television empress Minnie Dlamini left the SABC’s Soccer Zone viewers heartbroken when she ended her four year romance with the Monday night show. She came in, not like a wrecking ball, but more like Angelina Jolie in Mr and Mrs Smith: cute and cuddly on the outside but driven and hardcore on the inside. Once she melted all those hardened football supporters’hearts, she unsheathed a painful blow. But, with a new show premiering soon on SuperSport, Minnie is back to mend those broken hearts. Here she speaks exclusively to KICKOFF on why she loves sports so much and what it was like to be the first person in a skirt to co-present Soccer Zone.
Chief's Midfield Dissected
Tinsahe Nengomasha talks in exactly the same way he used to play: tirelessly, vigorously and bluntly, fuelled by passion and unafraid to leave it all on the field (or in this case, the page).Here, the former Kaizer Chiefs mid field strong man fires from the hip as he reveals his view of the current Amakhosi midfield,which he feels needs a major wake-up call following a less-than appetising campaign so far.
ready for the big stage
trott moloto says yes, he’s ready. he says so with the same expression you would expect mamelodi sundowns mentor pitso mosimane to display: his eyes drifting wide left when he talks about him, as if he can see percy tau skinning two defenders on the left-side touchline of his mind. former bafana bafana coach moloto, who knows as much about what it takes to cut it on the international stage as he does about what would make tau rise to the top, says 22-year-old is three-quarters of the way to becoming the player south africa will be unable to do without in the not too distant future.
on a wing and a prayer
winger luyolo nomandela is ready to put the bitter disappointment of the past two years behind him and make a fresh start as part of the potent attacking unit at cape town city.
coetzee the constant
ajax cape town defende r rivaldo coetzee has been a mainstay in the bafan a bafana set-up since maki ng history on 11 october 2014 as the then-youngest player to feature for the s enior national team, aged 17 years, 11 months and 26 days. the 20-year-old has amassed 22 caps since, yet questions have been raised over whether or not his n ational team spot has been earned, whether he was a coach favourite or just the symbol of the much-publicised ‘vision 2022’. here , the experienced ajax youngs ter speaks for himself.
in just six months, cape town city turned themselves from a dodgy offseason buyout transaction to already the football story of the season. defying odds and slaying giants along the way, the new cape town noisy neighbours have taken the cape and the premier soccer league by storm. there’s a defeaning silence from their critics, but are they making loud calls to do the unthinkable and lift the absa premiership?
Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has been the undisputed number one for club and country for the best part of a decade now, fighting off competition from numerous pretenders to his throne. But what sets khune apart from the rest? KICK OFF spoke to his former goalkeeper coach and mentor at Naturena Rainer Dinkelacker about how a teenage who dreamed of being a stiker rose to arguably the finest gloveman the country has ever seen