All the PSL club plans during Afcon break
With the Absa Premiership teams on a long break because of the Africa Cup of Nations, Daniel Mothowagae rounds up all 16 clubs to find out what they will be doing during the three-week lay-off
Ajax Cape Town
The Urban Warriors are planning a week’s training camp in Johannesburg later this month. The club says they have also lined up warm-up matches against Viking FK from Norway (on February 2) and Grasshopper CZ, from Switzerland, a week later.
During this period, coach Jan Pruijn will also assess the five players that have been invited from the Ajax reserve side to train with the senior squad.
Log position: 14
Next game: vs Swallows (Cape Town Stadium – February 13)
Usuthu re-opened this week and will go about their training in Durban and the only thing that might take them out of the province are the friendly games, according to the club’s spokesperson Philani Mabaso.
“In the past we used to leave the province in search of state-of-the-art facilities but we now have our own high performance centre here,” said Mabaso, adding that AmaZulu have signed former Orlando Pirates midfielder Njabulo Manqana.
Log position: 16
Next game: vs Maritzburg (Moses Mabhida – February 12)
The Clever Boys will host a mini-tournament on January 26. Wits players returned to work last Friday and are steadily adapting to newly-appointed coach Clive Barker who took over from Antonio Habas after the Spanish-born mentor was sacked during the festive break.
Log position: 9
Next game: vs Leopards (Peter Mokaba Stadium – February 13)
Lidoda Duvha, who this week appointed assistant coach Abel Makhubele on caretaker basis for the remainder of the season, descended on their training grounds midweek.
Public relations manager Tendani Thidiela said they turned down an invite from Tanzania for friendly games next week as it came at short notice.
Log position: 12
Next game: vs Wits (Peter Mokaba Stadium – February 13)
The recently-crowned Telkom Knockout champions will report for duty tomorrow from the festive break.
Celtic chief executive Khumbulani Konco said the club will travel to Lesotho later this month as part of the line-up of sport festivities that will also feature Kaizer Chiefs.
Log position: 7
Next game: vs Platinum Stars (Royal Bafokeng Stadium – February 13)
The “Chilli Boys” reported back to training on Thursday and the management were yet to finalise the club’s programme during the Afcon period. Goalkeeper Kassaly Daouda is in the Niger squad.
Log position: 15
Next game: vs Free State Stars (Charles Mopeli Stadium – February 13)
Free State Stars
Ea lla Koto will go on a “special camp”, according to the club general manager Rantsi Mokoena.
Stars players will report for duty tomorrow and will be based in the province for the entire Afcon period.
Players that will be campaigning in the Afcon are Zambians Kennedy Mweene and Noah Chivuta as well as the Togo pair of Dove Wome and Akoriko Sadat.
Log position: 4
Next game: vs Chippa United (Charles Mopeli Stadium – February 13)
Abafana Bas’thende will follow a normal training routine during the Afcon break. Coach Manqoba Mngqithi’s charges returned this week and their only Afcon call-up is defender Joseph Musonda who will be doing duty for Zambia.
Log position: 13
Next game: vs AmaTuks (Tuks Stadium – February 13)
Amakhosi football manager Bobby Motaung said yesterday that the club has shelved their planned tour of Lesotho, citing logistical challenges.
Instead, he said Chiefs will travel to Potchesfstroom in North West for a two-week training camp that will include friendly matches against still to be confirmed PSL opponents and lower league clubs.
“The players are already back at training,” he said.
Chiefs command a big number in Afcon call-ups with seven players selected for Bafana – Itumeleng Khune, Siboniso Gaxa, Tsepo Masilela, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Bernard Parker and Lehlohonolo Majoro.
Log position: 1
Next game: vs Sundowns (Loftus Stadium – February 12)
Pitso Mosimane’s charges returned from the break on Friday and were immediately summoned to the High Performance Centre (HPC) in Pretoria for fitness tests.
The Brazilians will set a two-week training camp in Polokwane from January 21 and feature in a
four-team tournament – on January 26 and 27 – that will also involve Black Leopards.
Sundowns will also tour Botswana from January 31 until February 4, where they will also participate in another four-team event on February 2 and 3.
Striker Katlego Mphela and goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands are the only two who have been selected for Bafana’s Afcon campaign.
Log position: 10
Next game: vs Chiefs (Loftus Stadium – February 12)
Starting next week, Team of Choice will embark on a series of friendly games against local academies and Vodacom League sides until the end of the month.
Commercial manager Younus Kadodia said the team will also set a four-day training camp in Johannesburg to participate in a tournament that involves Wits, Swallows and SuperSport United. Defender Awal Mohammed was named in Ghana’s 23-man Afcon squad this week.
Log position: 5
Next game: vs AmaZulu (Moses Mabhida – February 12)
The Birds have lines-up a series of friendly matches.
“One of our games will be against Bloemfontein Celtic and Wits in a tournament that starts on January 26,” said coach Zeca Marques.
He said they have also arranged a warm-up match against Mozambican side Vilanculos this week.
Log position: 11
Next game: vs Ajax (Cape Town Stadium – February 13)
Coach Roger de Sa says the Buccaneers will go through “normal training” at the Rand Stadium and there are no plans to leave the province.
“In the meantime, I’m trying to add two or three new players,” said De Sa.
Log position: 2
Next game: vs SuperSport (Orlando Stadium – February 13)
Coach Cavin Johnson says Dikwena has lined up a series of friendly matches during the Afcon period.
This include a clash against Algeria at Moruleng Stadium on Thursday as well as a four-team tournament that is yet to be finalised.
“We hope to spend four to five days outside the province with potential friendly matches against First Division sides Thanda Royal Zulu (Durban) or Sivutsa Stars (Nelspruit),” said Johnson who will be without winger Thuso Phala who is part of the Bafana squad.
Log position: 3
Next game: vs Celtic (Royal Bafokeng Stadium – February 13)
Matsantsantsi a Pitori will remain at their University of Pretoria Groenkloof Campus, Pretoria base.
The club’s representative during Afcon will be Davies Nkausu who has been picked by African champions Zambia.
Log position: 8
Next game: vs Pirates (Orlando Stadium – February 13)
University Of Pretoria
AmaTuks resumed training this week and they will face the Algeria national team in Rustenburg midweek.
Log position: 6
Next game: vs Arrows (Tuks Stadium – February 13)