ajax puzzle nearly done

NEW Ajax Cape Town head coach Muhsin Ertugral is hunting for four key players to bolster his squad before the new Premier Soccer League season kicks off next month.

NEW Ajax Cape Town head coach Muhsin Ertugral is hunting for four key players to bolster his squad before the new Premier Soccer League season kicks off next month.

At the top of his shopping list are a central defender, a winger and two strikers, and he feels he may have the perfect candidates lined up.

Ertugral is not releasing any players but will keep the squad that did duty last season.

The exception is unsettled striker Mabhuti Khenyeza, who failed in a trial with Dutch club FC Twente but does not see eye to eye with the new Ajax coach and is determined to leave.

Said Ertugral: "We are busy negotiating with the four players. All are African players who are currently playing in Europe.

"They are highly experienced and will help make Ajax one of the most exciting teams in the PSL this season."

Ertugral rejoined Ajax from Soweto glamour club Kaizer Chiefs in the off-season after spending two seasons with Amakhosi, and is determined to win some silverware in his second spell in charge. He won the Absa Cup in 2007 in his last stint with the Urban Warriors.

Ajax returned this week from a 13-day training camp in the Netherlands where they played five matches, winning three and losing two.

Said Ertugral: "We really shaped up well and there was plenty of hard work and commitment.

"I am looking forward to the season with a lot of confidence."

Ertugral said two midfielders, Granwald Scott and Clifford Ngobeni, shone in Holland.

"The whole squad looked the part and I was very pleased with the effort from everyone. But both Scott and Ngobeni were outstanding."

The Urban Warriors could not have asked for a tougher start to the new season when they play Orlando Pirates twice in five days.

Ajax meet Bucs in the quarterfinals of the MTN8 competition at Ellis Park on August 5 and open their Absa Premiership campaign against the Buccaneers at Newlands on August 9.

Said Ertugral: "It is tough playing one of the best teams in the country twice in the first four days of the season. But we will be ready and I am confident we can get the season off to a good start." - Sapa

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