Stars finally seal midfielder

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Absa Premiership club Platinum Stars yesterday unveiled Steve "Chippa" Lekoelea as their newest acquisition, in one of the most predictable moves in the league this season.

The deal stipulates that Stars have the services of the midfielder from now until the end of next season, with an option to renew for the next term.

Lekoelea has been clubless, but was training with the North West team for the past four months, after leaving Maritzburg United under a cloud in February. The KwaZulu-Natal side claimed at the time that the player had concealed a long-term injury, which the management of the team felt was career threatening.

When making the announcement, Stars chief executive Larry Brookstone said: "As you all know, we have a track record of rejuvenating players' careers - we did it with Simba Marumo and after sending Steve to our specialists in Potchefstroom, we are 100 percent satisfied that we are not investing in an unfit player.

"The doctors had found that his hips were not aligned, and that affected his explosiveness and the way he plays soccer."

Lekoelea will be given the popular No 10 jersey worn previously by the creative Daniel "Sailor" Tshabalala, who will now don jersey No 100.

Lekoelea said he was looking forward to being a team player.

"I have learned a lot from what happened to me. I am now looking forward to creating chances for Simba and other strikers," Lekoelea said.

Stars, who also signed Phumudzo Manenzhe at the beginning of the season, confirmed they were in the market for other players.