downs sign cale for R5m

IKAMVA, Ajax Cape Town headquarters, is fast becoming a happy hunting ground for Absa Premiership free-spenders Mamelodi Sundowns.

After securing the signature of Ajax's Brazilian defender Eduardo Ferreira shortly after the beginning of the transfer window period on November 15, Downs succeeded in bringing in winger Franklin Cale to Chloorkop in a R5million deal. They made Tuesday's transfer registration deadline in the nick of time. Cale, an occasional Bafana Bafana player, has clinched a three-season contract with the Brazilians.

The first Ajax player to join Sundowns this season was irascible attacker Mabhuti Khenyeza at the beginning of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Ajax striker Sifiso Vilakazi has joined struggling Bidvest Wits on a renewable 18-month deal, while the Cape side's attack has since been bolstered by the return of Nathan Paulse from Swedish club Hammarby IF last week. Downs have also signed former Platinum Stars No 1 goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.

The teams were given a special dispensation by Fifa to sign new players in November and this month because of the shortened season due to the 2010 World Cup. A number of National First Division teams also took advantage of the step to beef up their squads.

The transfer window normally opens in January.

Downs are the only big guns in the league who signed players in the window period. Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and defending champions SuperSport United decided not to add new players.

But some teams succeeded in extending the contracts of their key players who were linked with moves elsewhere. Daine Klate extended his stay at United for a further two seasons, ending speculation he was joining Downs.