Stars eager to use Leopards as fodder

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

A new-look Free State Stars will use Sunday's friendly against Black Leopards to start their preparations for their campaign in the Premiership.

Stars' chairman Mike Mokoena said the match will be played at Bohlokong Stadium in Bethlehem at 3pm.

"It is the first competitive match that we will be playing since we started with the pre-season training camp two weeks ago," he said.

"There are several new players that we are in the process of finalising negotiations with.

"Once bitten, twice shy. After being relegated to the National First Division League two seasons ago, I do not want to repeat the same mistake.

"Unlike before, one is now going to be fully involved in the day to day running of the club, with the assistance of management.

"That will also help to instil discipline in the team, something that was lacking when we were relegated. Players will have to adhere to the policies of the club.

"I would like to promise the people of Bethlehem and the whole of Free State that we are now back in the Premiership for good.

"The team that we are rebuilding is going to compete for honours," said Mokoena, who has also recruited top striker Rueben Cloete from Santos.

Tshifhiwa Thidiela, Black Leopards' brand manager, said: "It will be a great match because Mike has roped in several quality players. We are taking along our regular players. They must not expect favours. We will welcome them back with an embarrassing defeat."

Cloete and Amos Ngcobo from First Division side Durban Stars are some of the new recruits who will feature in Sunday's game.

The players have each signed a two-year contract. Mokoena has offloaded three players, Zambian international Clive Hachilensa, Mandise Gomoshe and Solly Nketle.

Nketle has returned to Bloemfontein Celtic, who had loaned him to Ea Lla Koto. Admission for Sunday's game is R20 for adults and R10 for students.