In anticipation of this week’s 1209th edition of Soccer Laduma, we preview some of the features included. The latest edition will be available at your nearest outlet tomorrow, Wednesday, February 03.
Nedbank Cup Last 32 Preview
Teams from both the DStv Premiership and the GladAfrica Championship take a break from league commitments, with the focus on attempting to reach the Last 16 of the Nedbank Cup. The Big Three of defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs have some tricky fixtures lined up, with the potential of a big upset ever so present in South Africa’s version of the FA Cup. For many teams, this will be their last shot at glory this season, with the league season at the halfway stage in the topflight and this being the last cup competition for the season. Will we see a repeat of the 2018/19 season where minnows, in the form of TS Galaxy, went all the way to win the tournament, or will elite division clubs sweep second-tier sides aside in the early stages? Whatever the answer, one thing’s for sure, the Last 32 fixtures will serve up plenty of drama and talking points, and whoever progresses to the next round will have sweated blood for it. Soccer Laduma previews all the games!
Percy Tau Feature
The Bafana Bafana international received a UK work permit and was recalled to Brighton & Hove Albion on 7 January this year, some 902 days after signing for the English Premier League side from Mamelodi Sundowns. Three days later, he made his debut against Newport County in the FA Cup and was then thrust into the starting XI against the mighty Manchester City for his first league appearance. The 26-year-old has had an interesting route to the top of European football despite many doubting his decision to leave the Tshwane giants for Brighton, thinking that he may never make an appearance for his parent club. In a feature on Tau, Soccer Laduma traces his path to the Seagulls, why and how they signed him, his prospects for this season and beyond and how he qualified for a work permit.
Shaun Bartlett Interview
How quickly things change in football. Last season, Bartlett was at Kaizer Chiefs, serving as assistant alongside head coach Ernst Middendorp, as the Soweto giants looked on course to clinch the league title, only to slip on the last day of the campaign, allowing Mamelodi Sundowns to overtake them on the way to the podium. It’s now history that, following that dramatic capitulation, he and the German mentor were released by the club. Almost five months later, the former Bafana Bafana striker has accepted the call to be Owen da Gama’s assistant at TS Galaxy, where they have won two and drawn one with Bartlett in the dugout. The club also seems to be scoring more nowadays, something many have attributed to the ex-marksman’s presence on the Rockets training field. In an interview with Soccer Laduma, Bartlett explains why he refused head coaching jobs after leaving Chiefs, losing grip on the title last season and talks about his relationship with Da Gama.
Also in issue 1209…
Tebogo Motlanthe Interview
A new broom sweeps clean, so they say, and Motlanthe has done a fairly good job since taking over as SAFA CEO on an acting basis last year. This is why it came as no surprise when Mzansi’s football governing body announced him as the association’s new CEO, permanently, beating off stiff competition from the likes of Happy Ntshingila, Lydia Monyepao, Mzwandile Maforvane and Mxolisi Sibam, who were also vying for the same position. Among his most immediate tasks will be to ensure that Bafana Bafana are given the best possible support in order to qualify for major tournaments, most notably the Afcon and the World Cup, both taking place next year. In his interview with Soccer Laduma, Motlanthe talks about his plans going forward, the mandate handed out to him and Vision 2022.
Ruzaigh Gamildien Interview
Going into this season, no one would have foreseen Gamildien being one of the early pacesetters in terms of on-form players in the league, having failed to fire on all cylinders at previous clubs in the elite division, before disappearing into the second tier for a couple of seasons. It’s a lifeline that Swallows FC have handed the Cape Town-born attacker, and to say he has grabbed it with both hands may yet be an understatement still. As proof of his red-hot form, he was recently named the Player of the Month for December/January, and will be key in the Birds’ quest for a respectable finish in the DStv Premiership this season. In an interview, Gamildien talks to Soccer Laduma about what’s led to his resurgence and working under coach Brandon Truter.
This week, we get an earful from Patrick Tignyemb, directed at Bloemfontein Celtic. The former Siwelele goalkeeper spills the beans on what happened that led to him reporting the club to FIFA for breach of contract. It’s a must-read!
In this week’s edition of the popular Siyagobhoza section, there is news about a Mamelodi Sundowns defender in contract talks with the club, Orlando Pirates back in for a DStv Premiership marksman, a Kaizer Chiefs player set for a new deal, and more…
Grab a copy of the latest edition of Soccer Laduma at your nearest outlet tomorrow. Don’t miss out!