Thidiela quashesrumours on players

Sello Rabothata

Sello Rabothata

Black Leopards boss David Thidiela yesterday quashed rumours and allegations that a number of players in his team are jumping ship.

The players are said to be getting into pre-contract arrangements with other teams in the Premiership as Lidoda Duvha battle aganist relegation.

Sources have claimed that Malawian internationals Robert Ng'ambi and Fischer Kondowe have signed such agreements with Moroka Swallows and Bidvest Wits University respectively, while Myron Shongwe has been linked to Orlando Pirates. Leopards captain Peter Mponda has also been linked to the Birds.

At top of the log SuperSport United, out of favour midfielder Sibusiso Mahlangu has been said to be on his way to the Clever Boys in the new season, while Jomo Cosmos' Under-23 striker S'busiso Hadebe and Sam Magalefa have been said to be heading to one of the Cape teams.

Thidiela yesterday moved quickly to point out that the players mentioned from his team have just renewed their contracts for a further three years.

"Ng'ambi has been a very loyal servant of this team and I don't believe he could do anything like that. As for Kondowe, I spoke to Roger de Sa at Wits about this and he assured me there was nothing of the sort.

"Dr Irvin Khoza and I are very good friends and instead of poaching my players he would rather assist me if I needed his help anytime. He would never go behind my back and steal my player. With Mponda, I will have to speak to the boy and find out if there is any truth in the allegations," said Thidiela, adding that they had a new salary structure in place in the club to meet players' needs.

David "Mazolman" Sikhosana, communications director at Matsatsantsa a Pitori, said yesterday: "I don't know anything about Mahlangu moving and am not in the office to check this out for you. But, these things happen in football. Considering the way we also got Anthony Laffor from Jomo Cosmos. I wouldn't be surprised if the same happened to us. In fact, it has happened before."

Andrew Rabutla, team manager at Ezenkosi, also denied any knowledge of either of their players being on the move.