An eye for talent
Free State Stars and Jomo Cosmos continue to spot quality foreign players.
Stars’ import Camaldine Abraw is the latest talent to transfer to a big club.
The Togolese striker follows in the footsteps of compatriot Dové Womé who arrived at Stars in 2011 and was snatched by Mamelodi Sundowns in 2013.
Stars also brought in Burkina Faso’s top goalkeeper, Daouda Diakité, at the start of the season, but he suffered an injury during his Absa Premiership debut in August and underwent surgery after just one game.
Stars secured Zambian international goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene in 2005, and he moved on to Sundowns.
Stars’ identification of exceptional talent (Mozambique), Luís Boa Morte (Portugal), Chiukepo Msowoya (Malawi) and Boubacar Talatou (Niger) – and they all flopped.
The Buccaneers this week confirmed the acquisition of Equatorial Guinea goalkeeper Felipe Ovono and Zimbabwean striker Tendai Ndoro, both from Mpumalanga Black Aces.
So far, midfielder Issa Sarr has impressed since joining the Soweto giants from Platinum Stars last year.
The Senegalese international was lured to these shores by Chippa United two years ago.
Chiefs manager Bobby Motaung said: “Clubs like [Free State Stars and Jomo] dates back to the 1990s.
The club brought in Democratic Republic of Congo-born striker Bunene Ngaduane, who still holds the club’s record for most goals (79).
Cosmos is also home to talented strikers and some quality defenders.
The team has Zimbabwean striker Charlton Mashumba and defender Frédéric Nsabiyumva from Burundi, who both made strong contributions to Ezenkosi’s promotion to the Premiership. Mashumba scored 17 league goals.
Let’s not forget the days of marksmen Benjamin Mwaruwari, Tico-Tico Bucuane – Cosmos’ all-time leading scorer with 88 goals – and defender Valery Nahayo. Cosmos get [foreign players] raw, build them and expose them by way of playing them regularly.
“With Chiefs, it is difficult to get a raw player and expect them to adapt quickly. They need time and our supporters are impatient.
“Even when I brought Musona, he was abused.
“Had he played here a year before, it would have made it easier, as the player would have been ready to compete right away,” Motaung said.
Chiefs have Ugandan Sula Matovu on trial at present and, said Motaung, “we have to protect him and give him time to adapt”.