Highlands Park line up Masango and Rama G to strengthen attack

Mandla Masango.
Mandla Masango.
Image: GORDON HARNOLS / AFP

Highlands Park will be looking to conclude some transfer business over the next week‚ including a possible return to South African football for Mandla Masango and a way out of his current quagmire for striker Rodney Ramagalela.

Park coach Owen Da Gama was speaking after his team beat AmaZulu 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 extra-time scoreline in their Nedbank Cup last-32 encounter at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on Friday night.

“With the transfer window‚ we really need to get a few players‚ although it’s difficult to sign players now because all the top players are locked up in teams‚” Da Gama said.

“I’ve spoken to the management and there is the possibility we can strengthen a little bit. We came up with the majority of our National First Division squad and some of the players need a little bit more time [to adjust to the top-flight]. Others are really doing well.

“We need to make sure‚ first of all‚ that we have a strong enough squad to compete in the league.”

Ramagalela is top of the list‚ said Da Gama.

“With his experience upfront there‚ he’ll also bring out more in [Tendai] Ndoro. At the moment we are playing with one striker and a false nine.

“Whether we can get him or not is a different story. But certainly I’m very interested in a player like that.”

Ramagalela is currently sidelined at Polokwane City after refusing to sign a contract extension. His deal at the club ends in June.

“I don’t know what’s happening there‚ I just heard he’d been suspended.

“But certainly if we can’t have him now‚ hopefully we can have him in June. If we can get him now it will be a bonus‚” the Highlands coach said.

Masango and Enocent Mkhabela – who are both without clubs – have been training at Highlands in recent weeks.

“Mandla hasn’t played in a long time‚ so we want to give him a fair shot and we are trying to get him as fit as possible so that he’s got the best possible chance of making an impact.”

Masango‚ 29‚ gave up his career in Denmark after a fallout and last played in mid-2017 while Mkhabela‚ also 29‚ failed to make an impact at Kaizer Chiefs‚ where he barely got to play and was loaned to Platinum Stars‚ featuring last in the end of season promotion-relegation playoffs in late May.

But Da Gama seemed less keen on Thuso Phala of SuperSport United‚ who has also been linked with a move to the “Lions of the North”.

“Thuso Phala is a name that has coming across to us but frankly we have a lot of players on the attack. Our problem lies in the midfield‚ where we don’t have a creative player and I think we are still struggling in defence‚” the coach said.

“We have to be strategic about any acquisitions. We can’t just sign for the sake of signing. If Thuso Phala comes‚ then you need to play him. I don’t think he’s priority at the moment.

“Management asked me to rather be strategic about what we need. Goalkeeper is another option for us‚ because we are also a bit thin in that department.

“We’ve been looking at a goalkeeper from outside. We have one foreigner slot left in our squad and we have a very serious goalkeeper in mind but whether it materialises depends on management‚” he added. 

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