Swazi friendlies for busy Stars
Free State Stars have lined up two friendlies in Mbabane next weekend against the two local Premier League sides.
Rantsi Mokoena, Ea Lla Koto's brand manager, identified the opponents as Mbabane Highlanders and Manzini Wanderers.
"The friendlies games against Highlanders and Wanderers will take place in Swaziland on January 26 and 27, respectively," he said.
"We are delighted that the dates have been confirmed. We are using the games as part of a programme designed by the technical staff to keep the players in great shape.
"There is no way we can fold our arms because the Premiership is in recess because of the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana.
"We hope the two games will help the technical staff to assess the areas where we need to improve as part of our preparations for the second round campaign.
"We are also planning to go to Lesotho," said Mokoena, whose club yesterday released deadly striker Sifiso Vilakazi to join Ajax Cape Town.
Vilakazi is the second top Ea Lla Koto player to leave the club in less than a week after Fanyana Dhladhla joined Mamelodi Sundowns.
Stars' neighbours Bloemfontein Celtic were also chasing Vilakazi.
An ecstatic Mokoena also confirmed that Stars have acquired the services of highly rated Zimbabwean striker Kinston Nkatha.
"We have offered him a three-year deal, everything has been finalised and the player is already here in Bethlehem training with the team."
Representatives of Zimbabwean club Caps United are expected to arrive in the country today to formally hand over Nkatha to Stars chairman Mike Mokoena.
"Kinston is a great player, we are confident that he will help us score more goals when the second round starts in February," said Mokoena senior. "We are planning to compete this season, [after] we raised the hopes of many people with our great display last year. Our support is also growing in leaps and bounds."