Why Ri­valdo is get­ting itchy feet

The suc­cesses of Dolly and Mo­bara make Coet­zee want to get a move on from Ajax as well

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - ROD­NEY REINERS Cape Town

AJAX Cape Town head coach Stan­ley Menzo is con­tin­u­ing with his prepa­ra­tions for the new PSL sea­son, de­spite the on­go­ing ab­sence of star cen­tral de­fender Ri­valdo Coet­zee.

Coet­zee has not re­turned to the club for pre-sea­son train­ing.

Menzo ad­mit­ted this week that he was dis­ap­pointed with the player’s lack of pro­fes­sion­al­ism.

“It’s some­thing we know about (Coet­zee’s ab­sence),” said Menzo. “But it’s some­thing we have to man­age. It’s how it goes in foot­ball. It’s not good for ev­ery­body in­volved, the club and the player.

“Look, some­times in life you have to make choices,” added Menzo about Coet­zee. “You just have to hope that it doesn’t af­fect your ca­reer in the fu­ture.”

Both Ajax and Coet­zee refuse to re­veal the ex­act na­ture of the dis­pute, but spec­u­la­tion is that the tal­ented Bafana Bafana de­fender ei­ther wants a move away from the Cape club or feels that the club should re­mu­ner­ate him com­men­su­rate to his stand­ing and im­por­tance.

Coet­zee was last sea­son named as Ajax’s Player of the Sea­son and Play­ers’ Player of the Sea­son.

The 20-year-old from Kaka­mas in the North­ern Cape is in de­mand and there have been of­fers from the big-spend­ing clubs in the PSL. So far, though, ev­ery­body has re­port­edly been scared off by the ask­ing price for the de­fender.

While it’s dif­fi­cult to have sym­pa­thy for Coet­zee be­cause of his de­ci­sion to go ab­sent with­out leave, it’s just as easy to un­der­stand where he is com­ing from. He came through the Ajax youth academy with play­ers like Kea­gan Dolly and Ab­bubaker Mo­bara – and look where they are now.

Dolly’s trans­fer to Mamelodi Sun­downs re­sulted in a PSL ti­tle and suc­cess in the African Cham­pi­ons League. To­day, he is at Mont­pel­lier in France’s Ligue 1. Mo­bara left to join Or­lando Pi­rates and, on Mon­day night, he was named as the Ned­bank Player of the Tour­na­ment. Both of them fur­thered their ca­reers, on-field and fi­nan­cially, while Coet­zee prob­a­bly feels that he is stand­ing still at Ajax.

But, what­ever side of the fence you’re on, the sit­u­a­tion is not ideal for the club, the player, the coach or the rest of the squad. A so­lu­tion has to be found quickly. The new sea­son is not too far off and surely Menzo and the play­ers can’t be pre­par­ing un­der such a cloud of un­cer­tainty around one of the team’s in­flu­en­tial play­ers.

Pic: BackpagePix

UN­SET­TLED: Ajax Cape Town de­fender Ri­valdo Coet­zee has gone ab­sent with­out leave as the club be­gins their pre-sea­son train­ing and it is sus­pected the player is keen for a move to a big­ger club.

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