De­fen­sive mid­fielder

Soccer Laduma - - Make Your Point -

The In­cum­bent: Tiyani Mabunda (30 years old)

Mabunda’s rise from be­ing loaned out and play­ing in the Mul­tiChoice Diski Chal­lenge, to be­ing a piv­otal com­po­nent in Sun­downs’ mid­field, should be an ex­am­ple for the en­tire squad and for play­ers, young and old, in the PSL. He is now 30 years old and should still be a very good op­tion over the next 18 months, but the side does need to be look­ing at the fu­ture, as with Mabunda and Many­isa both in their 30s and Kekana al­ready 33, the en­gine room could sud­denly lack mo­bil­ity and dy­namism.

The Suc­ces­sor: Andile Jali (28 years old)

This past off-sea­son, Sun­downs brought in Andile Jali on a five-year con­tract. He is now 28 years old and, whilst only two years younger than op­tions like Mabunda and Many­isa, he brings back Euro­pean ex­pe­ri­ence and a point to prove. In re­cent games, he has looked in bet­ter phys­i­cal con­di­tion af­ter min­i­mal game time in Bel­gium be­fore his con­tract ended, and is slowly get­ting back to full match fit­ness. At his best, he would be push­ing to start for Bafana and be­come one of the best cen­tral mid­field­ers in the PSL.

Ver­dict: Sun­downs bulked up this area of their squad with Jali in June and with Ndlovu join­ing at the end of this sea­son. With five op- tions for three po­si­tions next sea­son, Mosi­mane will be able to ro­tate his vet­er­ans in mid­field and keep them all fresh, with younger, en­thu­si­as­tic Ndlovu along­side them to do some of their run­ning.

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