Kumalo a flight risk

'CHOOSE WISELY': Moroka Swallows chairman Leon Prins
'CHOOSE WISELY': Moroka Swallows chairman Leon Prins

A MOVE to Mamelodi Sundowns will harm Moroka Swallows midfielder Sibusiso Kumalo's career, says Dube Birds chairman Leon Prins.

Earlier this week, it emerged that the big-spending Sundowns were after the services of Kumalo, 22, who has been with the Soweto outfit for eight years after rising from their youth structures.

Yesterday, Prins admitted that the Chloorkop side was in talks with Kumalo, but also revealed that Swallows would do what they could to keep the talented midfielder.

"Is Sundowns trying to talk to him? Yes! I'm sure they are, but is the intention for him to stay at Moroka Swallows? Yes, we want him to stay at the club. We will have to see what we can do," Prins said. "He has been with me since Under-15 (level), I know him well. He's far from being the finished article. He's a good boy. He has a lot of potential."

Prins added that if the player was set on moving across town he would not stand in his way, but advised that a move to the Brazilians could be career a suicide. "I have a good relationship with Sundowns, but personally I don't think it would be a great move for him. I don't think it would be in his interest because he will end up sitting in the stands or on the bench. That will harm his career.

"I will do everything that I can to keep him. If, what I believe is the wrong decision is made and he goes, then so be it. Swallows will have to be paid compensation. But I certainly hope it does not happen that way," the Birds chairman said.

Kumalo is the latest on a growing list of Swallows players that look set to be on their way out of the club at the end of the season. David Mathebula and Bennett Chenene will be joining SuperSport United, while Lizo Mjempu and Giulio Giuricich are likely to be released.

Prins said that he was not overly concerned about a possible exodus. Prins said he would be happy if the Birds finished in the top six in the Absa Premiership, which draws to a close next month.