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Seven Amakhosi play­ers to be booted out as club strives to re­turn to win­ning ...

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - SOC­CER RE­PORTER AND ANA

BACK AT CHIEFS: Patrick Mabedi, for­mer Chiefs player and re­cently the head coach of Cape Town All Stars, will as­sist Amakhosi coach Steve Kom­phela in the new sea­son.

KAIZER CHIEFS will have yet another mas­sive clear­ance of play­ers fol­low­ing a for­get­ful sea­son that yielded no sil­ver­ware.

Amakhosi, who fin­ished with­out a tro­phy for the sec­ond year run­ning, and ended in an un­sat­is­fac­tory fourth po­si­tion in the Absa Pre­mier­ship ta­ble in the re­cently com­pleted sea­son, will part ways with seven play­ers, as well as make a switch in their tech­ni­cal depart­ment.

There was a sim­i­lar purge, al­beit it at a big­ger scale, last sea­son as Chiefs let go of no less than 20 play­ers – al­though most of them were not reg­u­lars – in the hope of turn­ing their for­tunes around. It was all in vain though but the club is hope­ful the lat­est changes will bear the de­sired re­sults.

The club’s foot­ball man­ager Bobby Mo­taung said yes­ter­day that the club is in­tent on stop­ping the rot and re­turn­ing Amakhosi to their right­ful stand­ing as one of the coun­try’s top sides by win­ning sil­ver­ware on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

“We have de­cided to re­vamp the squad early so that when we com­mence pre-sea­son train­ing, we pre­pare our­selves ad­e­quately for the tough sea­son ahead,” Mo­taung said

“We owe it to our sup­port­ers to en­sure that the events of the past two sea­sons are not re­peated in the 2017/18 cam­paign.”

All of de­fender Siyanda Xulu – who joined amid much fan fare from Rus­sia two sea­sons ago – as well as mid­fielder Lucky Baloyi, To­golese striker Camal­dine Abraw and Lewisi Macha of Zim­babwe, will have their con­tracts ter­mi­nated by mu­tual con­sent fol­low­ing meet­ings be­tween the club and the play­ers’ rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Mid­fielder Eno­cent Mkha­bela, who was on loan to Plat­inum Stars mid-sea­son, will be given the chance to make his deal with Dik­wena a per­ma­nent one. Striker Siphelele Mthembu, once touted as a po­ten­tial su­per­star, will be given a free clear­ance, while Zim­bab­wean Michelle Kats- vairo will be loaned out for a sea­son. Chiefs will as­sess the Zim­bab­wean striker there­after be­fore de­cid­ing on what move to make re­gard­ing his con­tract.

“Th­ese play­ers have con­tracts with the club but they did not en­joy suf­fi­cient game-time dur­ing last sea­son and we felt it would be in their best in­ter­ests, as well as ours, for them to pur­sue their ca­reers else­where,” Mo­taung said.

“We will be mak­ing an­nounce­ments in due course with re­gards to the new play­ers that we will wel­come into the Kaizer Chiefs fam­ily.”

Amakhosi also made a change to their tech­ni­cal team, with for­mer cap­tain Patrick Mabedi re­turn­ing to the club to take over as as­sis­tant coach. The Malaw­ian re­places for­mer Ghana­ian in­ter­na­tional John Paintsil as coach Steve Kom­phela’s sec­ond in charge.

He is the third man to oc­cupy the as­sis­tant coach role with another for­mer Chiefs star, Doc­tor Khu­malo, hav­ing worked with Kom­phela in the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

“I am happy to be back home,” said Mabedi. “I look for­ward to mak­ing a con­tri­bu­tion to the suc­cess of this great in­sti­tu­tion. This is a priv­i­lege. I wish to thank the club man­age­ment for this op­por­tu­nity.”

The 43-year-old Mabedi played for Chiefs from 1998 to 2006 and en­joyed a tro­phy-laden ca­reer that de­liv­ered back-to-back cham­pi­onships as well as the Caf Cup Win­ners Cup, known then as the Man­dela Cup.

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