Prins refutes accusations

Meshack Motloung

Moroka Swallows' boss Leon Prins yesterday refuted claims that the Birds were not keen on players from Soweto, stating that his management was working hard to get youngsters from the sprawling township into the team.

"Our priority is doing well as a team and in the long term we intend to move back to Orlando Stadium as soon as it is completed.

"We've got four youths from our development and that alone speaks for itself," he said.

Prins also added that people are also looking for mischief when the club was doing well.

Bernard Mtshali, the Birds' operational director, said Sello Mhlambi, who is playing for Benoni Premier United, once trained twice with Swallows and not Siphiwe Tshabalala.

"It is not true that Tshabalala was discarded by the coach, he never trained with Swallows. Only Mhlambi did, but he did not make it. I think he was not fit enough that is why he was left out."

In a weekly radio sports show, Swallows' manager, Sipho Xulu, said the side's former professional players would receive complimentary tickets for all their home games, which many ex-professionals said they were not interested in.

Most said what would they achieve by watching Swallows play because the side was not playing entertaining football like before.

Carlton Moloi, former Swallows' midfielder, said: "I'm a pensioner, how I'm I going to reach Swallows offices for a free ticket, and again what I'm I going to watch?"

However, Mtshali said by inviting former players was to lay a foundation for the club.

"There are a lot of things lined up for these players and they are going to benefit."

Regarding Mhlambi and Tshabalala, coach Gavin Hunt said he did not remember seeing them.

Asked specifically about the absence of players from Soweto, Hunt responded by asking this reporter if Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs had players from Soweto.

After yours truly answered with a big yes, Hunt then shifted to Manchester United and Liverpool, saying not all their players were from England.

He added that Swallows have been doing well in the past years, but the problem was that Sowetan were rubbishing that by saying they were not playing entertaining football.

"My door is open for players from Soweto," said Hunt.