Many ‘trans­fers’ be­tween SA and In­dia over the years

Post - - Sport -

THE ties be­tween South African and In­dian foot­ball go be­yond the strides that Katz Naidoo of Pi­eter­mar­itzburg is mak­ing as tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor of youth de­vel­op­ment at Dempo Sports Club in Goa, In­dia.

While Naidoo is prob­a­bly the first South African coach to work in In­dia, there were play­ers and a fit­ness in­struc­tor who en­joyed spells in In­dia. High­lighted are some of the “trans­fers” be­tween the coun­tries.

SABC foot­ball an­a­lyst Deshi Bhak­tawer was the goal­keep­ing coach of In­dian Su­per League fran­chise Atletico de Kolkata in 2014. The for­mer Or­lando Pi­rates and Ar­ca­dia Shep­herds goal­keeper was roped in by for­mer Mamelodi Sun­downs and Bid­vest Wits tac­ti­cian Antonio Lopez Habas. With the Spa­niard, Bhak­tawer won the in­au­gu­ral ISL ti­tle and in the next edi­tion went as far as the semi­fi­nals with the same out­fit.

That in­au­gu­ral ISL ti­tle was won with cru­cial goals by Ethiopian striker Fikru Te­ferra, who has a long his­tory in the PSL. He turned out for lo­cal sides Or­lando Pi­rates, Su­perS­port United, Free State Stars, Mi­lano United, Bid­vest Wits and Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria since 2006.

For­mer Ajax Cape Town and Or­lando Pi­rates winger Sameehg Doutie joined the same Kolkata fran­chise in 2015 and re­mained with them last sea­son. The Capeto­nian was a reg­u­lar in the side, and for the up­com­ing com­pe­ti­tion he was snapped up by a new fran­chise, Jamshed­pur FC.

The pre­vi­ous year an­other ISL out­fit, North East United, held their pre-sea­son train­ing camp in Dur­ban, and played friendlies against AmaZulu, Mar­itzburg United and lo­cal teams.

Other play­ers who fea­tured in the ISL re­cently af­ter play­ing in the PSL in­clude Botswana mid­fielder Ofentse Nato and for­mer Pi­rates mid­fielder, Zam­bian in­ter­na­tional Isaac Chansa.

One of the ear­li­est in­ter­ac­tions be­tween the coun­tries was in 2002 when an In­dian Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion XI toured Dur­ban and played matches against in­au­gu­ral PSL cham­pi­ons Man­ning Rangers and a KZN XI.

An of­fi­cial from the tour­ing del­e­ga­tion in­quired about sign­ing mid­fielder Clin­ton Larsen, the cur­rent Golden Ar­rows coach. Man­ning Rangers in turn asked about In­dian in­ter­na­tional play­maker Alvito D’Cunha’s avail­abil­ity, but nei­ther trans­fer ma­te­ri­alised.

In 2003 In­dian gi­ants East Ben­gal FC hired Bloem­fontein fit­ness trainer Kevin Jack­son, who whipped them into shape and helped the side lift the ASEAN Cup, the first con­ti­nen­tal club ti­tle won by an In­dian club.

For­mer South Africa in­ter­na­tional winger Mac­don­ald Mukansi had a spell with East Ben­gal in the 2007/08 sea­son.

An­other player, striker Syd­ney Nkalanga, was prob­a­bly the first South African to play in In­dia when he turned out briefly for East Ben­gal in 2005. Among his team­mates then was DR Congo de­fender Liswa Nduti, who played al­most his en­tire ca­reer in South Africa for Man­ning Rangers, Zulu Roy­als and OR Tambo Cos­mos.

An­other fa­mil­iar name who crossed over from the SA league to In­dia in 2007 was Con­golese winger-striker Ed­son Dico Minga. Af­ter sev­eral years with Zulu Roy­als and Man­ning Rangers he found his way to Mahin­dra United, a club owned by the In­dian mo­tor man­u­fac­turer which also has a pres­ence in South Africa.

Lit­tle known DRC mid­fielder Mbaka Bokembe Dady also had a spell with Mahin­dra in the mid-2000s af­ter he left lo­cal First Di­vi­sion side PJ Stars.

One of the ear­li­est “trans­fers” was prob­a­bly Liberian goal­keeper Pe­wou Best­man, who left Man­ning Rangers to play for In­dian side FC Kochin.

For­mer Ajax Cape Town and Or­lando Pi­rates winger Sameehg Doutie

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