Bloemfontein Celtic face defensive crisis

Nhlanhla Vilakazi of Amazulu FC and Ndumiso Mabena of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership match between AmaZulu FC and Bloemfonein Celtic at King Zwelithini Stadium on December 12, 2018 in Durban, South Africa.
Nhlanhla Vilakazi of Amazulu FC and Ndumiso Mabena of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership match between AmaZulu FC and Bloemfonein Celtic at King Zwelithini Stadium on December 12, 2018 in Durban, South Africa.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Bloemfontein Celtic face a crisis in defence as they are left with just two centre-backs with the likelihood of no reinforcements being secured in next month’s transfer window.

Alfred Ndengane has already been sold to Orlando Pirates and Lorenzo Gordinho is returning to Kaizer Chiefs‚ leaving Celtic coach Steve Komphela with just Wandisile Letlabika and Thato Lingwati.

Ndengane left in October in a transfer deal designed to offer cash-strapped Celtic some bridging finance.

He will become available to play for Pirates from their opening match of the new year against Highlands Park.

Gordinho has already played his last game for Celtic after a year-long loan from Kaizer Chiefs.

His sending off against AmaZulu last week means he missed out on Celtic's 2-1 home loss to Highlands Park on Monday and Saturday’s clash at Cape Town City.

Gordinho‚ despite not playing‚ was given a warm send off by the Celtic fans after Monday’s match at the Molemela Stadium.

Coach Steve Komphela says he will likely have to promote players up from the club’s reserves next month to strengthen the squad.

“We’ll just have to deal with it. It’s our job‚” he said after suffering a third successive loss this month.

“We’ll have to do the best we can‚ but if you keep changing your centre-backs you are going to have problems‚” he warned.

Letlabika‚ 29‚ has only recently returned from a long standing knee problem while Monday’s match against Highlands was the first start of the season for the 26-year-old Lingwati‚ who joined from Jomo Cosmos at the start of the campaign.

Celtic are still up for sale and running on the bare bones as owner Max Tshabalala seeks to sell but has yet to find a buyer.

It is unlikely they have any cash to bring in new players when the transfer window opens and might have to sell to keep going.

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