madidilani is royalty
After failing to get enough game time at Bloemfontein Celtic last season, defender James Madidilani is hoping to play regularly at Thanda Royal Zulu in the 2008-09 campaign after he became "ibhubesi" yesterday.
The 22-year-old right-back has signed a two-season deal with Amabhubesi who missed relegation by a whisker last season.
Madidilani, the former national under-23 captain, asked to be released by Phunya SeleSele, frustrated that he was warming the bench at the team last season. He played second fiddle to Tumelo Nhlapo and Thabo Nthete.
"It was very frustrating not to play as much as I would have loved at Celtic last season and hence I asked for a move," said Madidilani, who has two caps with Bafana Bafana.
"It is not good if you don't play because selectors of national squads will overlook you. I'm happy that Royal Zulu came forward to sign me. I'm looking forward to helping them in the new season."
Thulani Mbhele, Royal's spokesman, said they were happy to have snatched up an experienced player like Madidilani. Mbhele also confirmed forward Nkosinathi Nhleko and defender Sibusiso Hadebe as their other recruits.
They have been signed from the relegated Jomo Cosmos.
Jomo Sono, Cosmos' chairman, when asked for comment, said: "Nhleko and Sibusiso's contracts were not renewed at the team and therefore I don't know where they have gone."
National U-20 goalkeeper Blessing Makhathini and African Wanderers' striker Sicelo Zuma also clinched two-season contracts at the KwaZulu-Natal side who have also reinforced their technical staff with Ian Gorowa.
Gorowa was fired by Swallows a fortnight ago after unsati- sfactory results in the past season.
Thabani Gumede, Royal's manager, said they were keen to keep burly Ivorian forward Serge "Mavusana" Djiehoua in the team for the new term.
"Serge's loan spell with us expires at the end of the month but we are still interested in his services. We want him because his contract at Chiefs also expire this month," said Gumede, who also revealed that they were keen to sign striker Tonic Chabalala from Orlando Pirates.
Chiefs' manager Bobby Motaung and Djiehoua, said to be in his native country, could not be reached yesterday.