One of the Leopards’ U/23 players, Amukelani Chauke. Photo: Frank Mavhungu.
The relationship between Black Leopards FC and the team’s left back, Sibusiso Khumalo, is something of the past. According to the club’s general manager, Mr Elijah Mulaudzi, the decision to release Khumalo was reached after they realized that his departure was in the interest of both parties.
Mulaudzi said that Khumalo’s employment contract with the club had expired on 30 June. The former Mamelodi Sundowns and Maritzburg United defender joined Lidoda duvha on a two-year contract at the beginning of last season.
Asked how they were going to replace the players who had recently parted ways with the club, Mr Mulaudzi said that they would soon make an announcement regarding their new signees. He indicated that a number of seasoned players were training with the team. He said that the technical team was still assessing the players who were training with the team and that a decision on the players who would be offered employment contracts would be reached soon.
The Thohoyandou outfit parted ways with several players, including Rodrick Kabwe, Ovidy Karuru and the Ghanaian defender, Edwin Gyimah, early this month.
Asked whether they had enough U/23 players in their showroom, Mr Mulaudzi was quick to mention that they had not released any of the young players who had been part of their squad for last season. He cited the likes of Tiklas Thutwa, Tsepo Matsimbi, Emmanuel Makinita, Leso Maphuthi and Amukelani Chauke as some of the U/23 players who were capable enough to display their skills at both national and international level.
He again stated that they were assessing some of the U/23 players who were training with the team. (In terms of the league’s rules and regulations, GladAfrica teams must have at least five U/23 players on the team sheet, at least two of which must be on the field of play for the duration of the game).
Black Leopards had appointed the Nigerian national, Mr Lawrence Okwara, to the position of Team Manager. Mr Okwara is not a new face in the Leopards camp. He served in the same position for the team in the 2017/18 soccer season, but left for Baroka FC the following year.
As for the preparations for the new season, Mr Mulaudzi said that they were hard at work. He revealed that they will play a rehearsal game against Pretoria Callies at The Ranch Hotel grounds outside Polokwane today (Friday).
Date:23 July 2021 - By: Frank Mavhungu
Frank is a Human Resources Manager at the Department of Public Works in Limpopo. He is the longest serving correspondent of the Mirror, having joined us at the end of 1990. He mainly writes sports reports and resides at Tsianda Village. In 2004, Frank won the National Castle League Award, an award for the best reporter in the SAB league in South Africa.