Komphela has the last laugh

STEVE Komphela must be amused by his critics, who were quick to dimiss him as a one-season wonder when his side, Platinum Stars, were going through a rough patch earlier this season.

Stars have since recovered in fine style and a win over Mpumalanga Black Aces at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace tomorrow at 3.15pm will move Stars to 28 points from 20 matches.

Komphela was behind Free State Stars' incredible run last season, which saw them finish fourth. His exploits caught the eye of the North West side, which signed him at the beginning of the current campaign.

Platinum Stars go into tomorrow's match as bookies' favourites after pulling off a spirited all-round display in their midweek 3-1 stroll over Maritzburg United.

Aces are still smarting from a 2-1 defeat away to Lamontville Golden Arrows.

The departure of Stars' reliable goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands to Mamelodi Sundowns this week and controversial midfielder Jabu Mahlangu's exit should not have a negative impact, with Komphela confident enough in the depth of his squad to give them permission to leave.

With Japanese attacker Norikazu Murakami, Dillon Sheppard and Colombian forward Luis Renteria in their arsenal, Stars should have too much much firepower for Aces .

Aces have often proved to have more bark than bite but captain Godfrey Nobula fancies their chances against Stars. Other aces in their pack include Mwamba Musasa and Clifford Mulenga.