Celtic may be dis­in­te­grat­ing

Af­ter sur­viv­ing the chop, trans­fer win­dow plays havoc with club as key play­ers leave to join other teams in Premier­ship League

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za hings seem to be fall­ing apart at Bloem­fontein Celtic.

TThe club has now lost three key play­ers in this trans­fer win­dow pe­riod, which raises ques­tions about their am­bi­tions, par­tic­u­larly af­ter nar­rowly sur­viv­ing the chop in the ultimate game last sea­son. The last time the club lost in­flu­en­tial play­ers, they went on a down­ward spi­ral and did not re­cover af­ter los­ing the likes of Gabad­inho Mhango, Ler­ato Lamola, Wayde Jooste, Ler­ato Manzini, Vuyani Ntanga and Musa Bi­lankulu. They have also lost Thapelo Morena to Mamelodi Sun­downs.

Now they have parted ways with Lyle Lakay, Du­misani Zuma and Musa Ny­atama, who all played key roles in their sur­vival last sea­son.

Zuma and Ny­atama were this week un­veiled as Kaizer Chiefs and Or­lando Pi­rates play­ers, re­spec­tively, while Lakay has been with Cape Town City for a few weeks now.

Celtic were the low­est-scor­ing team last sea­son with a mere 16 goals and, at the rate they are go­ing, there are al­ready ques­tion marks about their prospects of sur­viv­ing next sea­son.

This was a week of re­unions in foot­ball cir­cles af­ter Eno­cent Mkha­bela and Lehl­o­gonolo Masalesa went back to Plat­inum Stars, who have also made Lu­vol­wethu Mpeta’s loan move from Su­perS­port United a per­ma­nent stay.

Af­ter re-sign­ing with his first pro­fes­sional club, Masalesa proudly de­clared that he was “back as a man af­ter leav­ing as a young­ster”.

The lanky mid­fielder got his pro­fes­sional de­but at Stars, where he fea­tured only once, be­fore he was shipped to Bid­vest Wits and, ul­ti­mately, Pi­rates.

But he is back where it all started, this time with more ex­pe­ri­ence af­ter his short stint at Greek side AE Larissa.

Mkha­bela re­joins from Chiefs, who had loaned him to Stars last sea­son, but has now made it a per­ma­nent stay.

Stars are on the look out for a striker to re­place Bongi Ntuli, who was on loan from Sun­downs. A top Stars of­fi­cial told City Press they wanted to make Ntuli’s stay a per­ma­nent one and would not en­ter­tain more loan deals.

“We can’t have him for three sea­sons on loan and, if we can’t get him on our books, we will look else­where,” said the of­fi­cial.

Dik­wena are eye­ing a Zam­bian striker as a pos­si­ble re­place­ment.

Su­perS­port United have fi­nally flexed their mus­cles on the mar­ket with the cap­ture of Zim­bab­wean striker Prince Dube and Siyabonga Nh­lapo from Wits. Nh­lapo comes in as Michael Box­all’s re­place­ment af­ter the All Whites’ defender’s move to the US.

The two are Eric Tin­kler’s first signees since his much­pub­li­cised move from Cape Town City. He also wel­comes Dové Womé and Thato Mokeke back from their loan moves.

United have sent out goal­keeper Boalefa Pule on a sea­son-long loan to AmaZulu.

For­mer United mid­fielder David Mathe­bula has found a new home in Baroka FC af­ter im­press­ing dur­ing a two-week trial. Baroka have been busy in the mar­ket with no less than five play­ers ar­riv­ing at the Lim­popo side.

Last week, they an­nounced that Abdi Banda, Lucky Nguzana, Brian Mwila and Tal­ent Chawapiwa had signed for the club.

Sur­pris­ingly, another Lim­popo club, Polok­wane City, have also re­leased some play­ers.

A few play­ers have al­ready left in search of new em­ploy­ers. Sipho Jem­bula has been un­veiled as a Celtic player while Tshepo Tema, Ren­dani Ndou and Randy Ngobe’s fu­tures still hang in the bal­ance.

Two other for­mer Baroka play­ers – Jacky Mot­shegwa and Vic­tor Let­soalo – have sur­faced at Celtic.

PHOTO: GALLO IM­AGES PHOTO: BACKPAGEPIX

GAME TIME Boalefa Pule BIG FISH Musa Ny­atama

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