Stars unveil raft of new players
FREE State Stars have unveiled an astonishing 17 new players for the coming season and are likely to add at least two more in the next two days.
Most come from the amateur ranks, but the club has added Reuben Thebakeng from Platinum Stars and the midfielder Angelo Kerspuy, who was at the end of his contract at Bloemfontein Celtic.
Others include Thapelo Mkhatshwa, who scored more than 50 goals in the fourth tier of local football last season, and Zimbabwean Taonga Dondo from relegated Jomo Cosmos.
Coach Steve Komphela says integrating the new signings into his existing squad had been difficult but "it is a question of good coaching in being able to manage the situation".
Stars have four west African players on trial, added Komphela, at their pre-season base in Klerksdorp, and were deciding on which to add to their contingent of foreigners.
They are also concluding negotiations with experienced defender Mbuyiselo Sambu, who was previously at the club in the 2007-08 season before going to Celtic and Platinum Stars.
"It's a challenge but we will bring the players on slowly with good nurturing," Komphela said.
Stars have taken over from Cosmos as the club who best produce a steady supply of new players for the PSL circuit, selling them on for handsome profit. Their top scorer last season Edward Manqele earned them R5-million from Mamelodi Sundowns after just one campaign in the top flight. Other former finds include Siphiwe Tshabalala, Thulasizwe Mbuyane, Sthembiso Ngcobo and Thabo Matlaba, all of whom earned the club a considerable profit.