Recall for loan stars
ORLANDO Pirates have recalled Clifford Ngobeni and Robyn Johannes from their loan spells at Lamontville Golden Arrows ahead of their pre-season camp.
The duo and Lucas Thwala were among the more high-profile players loaned out with a host of others last season, and all three have been recalled for assessment. Thwala was loaned to Platinum Stars.
Also back from loan spells are Sibusiso Mnguni, Vusi Mthimkulu and William Twala from National First Division side Chippa United, and Mbongeni Gumede from Sivutsa Stars.
Thwala joined up with his former teammates and the new recruits in camp, where coach Augusto Palacios will be running the rule over the team.
But it is unclear whether Thwala, Johannes and Ngobeni will remain with Bucs as they hardly played before their loan moves last season.
"All the players are back from loan and assessments are being done on them, including checks on body fat and reports on how they behaved and improved during their loan spells," said Bucs spokesman Mickey Modisane.
"We've just announced new players and the coach is looking at the whole team to see who goes and who stays. Teams will have an option to buy the players they were loaned, if they are released, while opportunities will also be afforded to teams with interest in the other players.
"The signings are being made with the CAF Champions League in mind. The team will be ready to compete on all fronts," he said.
Also undergoing assessment is Happy Jele, who has recovered from a serious knee injury last November and the tall Bafana Bafana defender could be back when the reigning Carling Cup champions defend their title against Kaizer Chiefs next month.
The Buccaneers will first contest the Freedom Cup against AmaZulu on July 8 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, before moving their pre-season camp up a gear with the Soweto derby on July 28.
Elsewhere, Mamelodi Sundowns players are expected back with the team today, ahead of their pre-season camp in Swaziland, while Chiefs have already summoned their troops to camp.