Mpondo to lead Birds in friendly

Richard Nkosi

Richard Nkosi

Former Moroka Swallows midfielder Andries "Chaka Chaka" Mpondo will take the reins at the Birds when they meet a Mpumalanga Invitation side at KaNyamazane Stadium in Nelspruit tomorrow at 2.30pm.

Mpondo will be in charge of the team following the departure this week of Gavin Hunt to SuperSport United.

It is likely to be an acid test for Mpondo, who will be at the helm for the first time. Swallows failed to secure second spot on the Castle Premiership log and thus missed out on the African Champions League.

Sipho Xulu, Swallows' general manager, said despite being a friendly game they were going to take it seriously.

"We're taking our strong team and a few youngsters who didn't feature much in our league games," said Xulu.

Swallows last played in the province in February when they drew 1-all with Jomo Cosmos in a league game at Ackerville Stadium in Witbank.

Xulu said their game against the Invitation side was part of their 60th anniversary celebrations.

William "Tiger" Thompson, the Invitation side's coach, said their preparations have been going well.

"The idea is to show that we have good players in the province who can make it in the elite league. We have to put up a great fight against an elite league side like Swallows and do well before our home crowd."