nkosi: great catch

NEW SuperSport United signing Siyabonga Nkosi was once hailed as the heir apparent to Doctor Khumalo's throne, but the midfielder has not found it easy to live up to the hype.

Nkosi signed a two-year contract with United last month, from his Israeli team Maccabi Netanya, a team he joined after a stint with German side Armenia Bielefeld, where he did well before the team was relegated from the top flight.

United's acquisition of Nkosi would still be looked at with some envy by other Absa Premiership teams, as Matsatsantsa a Pitori have lately been seen as the preferred local destination for players returning home.

Nkosi was keen on reuniting with his former employers Kaizer Chiefs but he could not return to Naturena because of what he calls "a combination of things".

Nevertheless, he says he could not have asked for a better team than the championship-winning United.

"SuperSport is a great team - well organised, great structure and a very good coach. But obviously, the first option for me would be Chiefs, if I'm honest. But I am looking forward to playing for a quality side and to contribute in making United a force to be reckoned with," Nkosi said yesterday.

He denied that this was a calculated move designed to get him back into national coach Joel Santana's good graces after having been left on the sidelines throughout the Confederations Cup, which ended on Sunday.

"When I made the decision to return to the country I was still in the team. So my return is not linked to any desire to be in the 2010 team," Nkosi said.

Nkosi said the coming season, a shortened one, promises to be a hectic one, but one that Gavin Hunt, United's coach, can handle.

Across town, unconfirmed reports have linked Mamelodi Sundowns with former Bafana Bafana player Quinton Fortune, who has no team after being released by AFC Tubize in the Belgian First Division.

Fortune was seen at the Sundowns offices in Chloorkop during the Confederations Cup and this fuelled speculation that he was joining them. Though admitting that Fortune did visit Chloorkop, scout for Sundowns Trott Moloto said their discussion had nothing to do with a contract.

"What I can assure you is that Quinton is not joining us," he stressed.

Sundowns, who are in a pre-season camp at Nelspruit, are also rumoured to be interested in signing two players from west Africa, one from Mali and another from Ivory Coast.

Moloto confirmed this but refused to identify the players "until the time is opportune".