Coet­zee’s ‘caveat emp­tor’

If a player is in­jured, why would an­other club want to force a deal?

Pretoria News Weekend - - SOCCER - ROD­NEY REINERS

FOOT­BALL fol­low­ers must be scratch­ing their heads in con­fu­sion and won­der­ing what all the fuss was about when Ri­valdo Coet­zee’s pro­posed move to Scot­tish cham­pi­ons Glas­gow Celtic crashed and burned be­cause of a failed med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion.

Celtic’s med­i­cal team found an “un­der­ly­ing prob­lem with the player’s right foot” – but, just a week later, on the PSL’s trans­fer dead­line day, Coet­zee landed a trans­fer from Ajax Cape Town to African cham­pi­ons Mamelodi Sun­downs.

So many ques­tions: How im­por­tant is this med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion, re­ally? Which med­i­cal spe­cial­ist’s opin­ion car­ries more wa­ter? Isn’t this med­i­cal, there­fore, per­haps just a tool to be used if a team has changed its mind about a player? And, im­por­tantly, if a player is in­jured, ir­re­spec­tive of the ex­tent, why would an­other club want to pay big money to still force through a deal? Surely, it’s a case of buy­ing dam­aged goods.

The tra­di­tional phrase with re­gard to such trans­ac­tions is “caveat emp­tor”, Latin for “let the buyer be­ware”. Ques­tions, ques­tions and more ques­tions… the mind bog­gles.

Ac­cord­ing to Ajax, Coet­zee had in­de­pen­dent ex­am­i­na­tions with two or­thopaedic spe­cial­ists and both dis­agreed with Celtic’s as­sess­ment. They be­lieve, with treat­ment, care and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, Coet­zee will only miss about 6-8 weeks of ac­tion.

Nev­er­the­less, de­spite the ups and downs over the last week, Coet­zee has got his wish. He failed to pitch up for pre-sea­son train­ing at Ajax and, de­spite sub­se­quently mak­ing up with the club, it was al­ways clear that he was fed-up and wanted to move on.

In the end, Thurs­day’s deal is sim­ply a case of ev­ery­body get­ting what they want: Coet­zee is at an­other club, which is what he has been angling for; Ajax are rid of a player who’s not happy any­more; and Sun­downs have the big-name player they have been chas­ing for quite a while.

The Coet­zee trans­fer to Sun­downs was a cash-plus-player deal, with 29-year-old cen­tral de­fender Mario Booy­sen re-join­ing Ajax.

It’s a wel­come re­turn for the ex­pe­ri­enced player who was born in Bon­te­heuwel and has a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence in the PSL. He was in the Ajax youth acad­emy, pro­moted to the se­nior squad in 2007, and then went on to play for Sun­downs, Bloem­fontein Celtic, Mar­itzburg United and Su­per­Sport United.

A sign of his stature in the PSL is that he re­cently cap­tained Bafana Bafana in the African Na­tions Cham­pi­onship (CHAN), a com­pe­ti­tion restricted to lo­cally-based play­ers.

So, all in all, prob­a­bly a good deal for Ajax. And, over­all, it has been a great trans­fer win­dow for the Cape side.

In ad­di­tion to Booy­sen, they have also strength­ened their de­fence with the promis­ing Ter­cious Malepe, on a sea­son-long loan from Or­lando Pi­rates.

The 20-year-old has rep­re­sented South Africa at Un­der-20 and U23 level and last month played for Bafana Bafana in the Cosafa Cup.

Malepe also cap­tained the SA team at the U20 World Cup in South Korea ear­lier this year, which means he will link up with his na­tional team­mate Grant Marge­man.

There was fur­ther good news for Ajax in the con­tin­ued el­e­va­tion and im­por­tance of their youth acad­emy when two 18-year-olds – cen­tral de­fender Dean Solomons and left-wing Leo Thethani – were signed by Dutch giants Ajax Am­s­ter­dam. Both have penned four-year con­tracts.

The ex­cit­ing young duo is cur­rently in Lon­don with SA U20 squad and will join their new club af­ter­wards.

“This is in keep­ing with the ex­ist­ing li­cens­ing agree­ment which ex­ists be­tween both clubs in look­ing to ad­vance the ca­reers of the Ajax Cape Town youth play­ers,” said the Cape club in a state­ment.

“Ex­cit­ing plans be­tween the two clubs are in ad­vanced stages to fur­ther en­hance the Ajax Acad­emy and will be re­vealed shortly. They have also ear­marked fur­ther play­ers cur­rently in the Acad­emy for a move to Am­s­ter­dam in the near fu­ture.”

Over in the Green Point half of the Mother City, things were a bit qui­eter, with only the high pro­file trans­fer of Cape Town City’s star player Le­bo­gang Manyama to Konyas­por in Turkey as the only piece of busi­ness.

Manyama is sched­uled to have the med­i­cal in Turkey once he re­turns from Bafana Bafana duty.

Sun­downs had come in with a late of­fer for City’s other big name – winger Aubrey Ngoma – but club boss John Comi­tis wasn’t happy with the amount, and it was re­jected.

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