NFD sides set for shake-up

MOST National First Division clubs will have to make wholesale changes to their squads and cut the number of players over the age of 23 to make way for youngsters

This is in line with the Premier Soccer League's resolution that next season, when the two NFD streams are merged, clubs will have to field five under-23 players in all their official matches.

Clubs will be forced to ensure that half their squads are under the age of 23 to comply with this.

The ruling will also make it harder for Premiership players who have lost form to find a home in the lower league, where a number of them have been able to revive their flagging careers.

But packing NFD sides with players from the Premiership has not always been a recipe for success.

Batau FC were relegated at the end of the recently completed NFD season despite having a horde of former Premiership players on their books.

The Ermelo side had the likes of Cyril Nzama, David Radebe, McDonald Mukansi, Wendell Robinson, Clement Mazibuko and Jabulani Mendu, just to mention a few.

United FC lead the pack in terms of ex-Premiership players as they have the likes of Lungisani Ndlela, Junior Khanye, Thembile Kanono, Alois Ngwerume and Junior Sekete.

Dynamos also have three U-23 players and a glut of former Premiership players but still did not qualify for the promotion play-offs.

African Warriors and Bay United, who have only two U-23 players, will be heavily affected by the resolution. United FC have three while FC Cape Town have four.

The resolution should not affect FC AK and Nathi Lions, who both have 11 U-23 players, while Witbank Spurs have 10.

University of Pretoria and Carara Kicks have nine. Black Leopards have eight U-23 players on their books. Blackburn Rovers and Thanda Royal Zulu each have seven.