Leopards honour former skipper

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Black Leopards will honour their former defender Fernando Matola with a benefit game that will be held in the Mozambican capital of Maputo on February 3.

The Mozambican defender, who was also the Limpopo side's skipper and two-time player of the season, died in a horrific car accident with his family a few months ago.

The benefit match was confirmed by Leopards' operations manager Kenneth Makhanya yesterday.

Makhanya also revealed that Lidoda Duvha will play a series of friendly matches against teams from Botswana, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo during the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) break in January and mid-February.

He said the friendlies, including the Maputo match against Costa do Sol, were part of their move to keep the players fit over the Absa Premiership recess.

"We are doing everything possible to ensure that the players remain active and sharp during the break over the Afcon tournament," said Makhanya yesterday.

"This is a very competitive season and we need to be ready and fit for the second round. It is also our obligation to ensure that we honour Matola who has done a lot for the club. He has done a lot for the team and we all miss him."

Coach Boebie "Mzala" Solomons will be back for the friendlies . The Capetonian returned to the country on Tuesday after a month's absence.

He had been away on a pilgrimage to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia,.

"Boebie is back and we are all excited about his return," Tshifhiwa Thidiela, Leopards' publicist, said yesterday.

Thidiela was optimistic Lidoda Duvha will not be relegated at the end of the season.