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Massive clear out as Chiefs release eight players

Amakhosi say more could depart to help Zwane’s rebuilding

Athenkosi Tsotsi Sports Reporter
Samir Nurkovic and Leonardo Castro will be parting ways with Kaizer Chiefs.
Samir Nurkovic and Leonardo Castro will be parting ways with Kaizer Chiefs.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The rebuilding process at Kaizer Chiefs went up a notch yesterday as the club released eight players plus goalkeeper coach Lee Baxter.

Samir Nurkovic, Lazarous Kambole, Lebogang Manyama, Daniel Cardoso, Leonardo Castro, Daniel Akpeyi, and Kearyn Baccus wont have their contracts renewed at the end of this month, while Anthony Agay has been transfer-listed.

Serbian striker Nurkovic was prolific two seasons ago under Ernst Middendorp, scoring 14 goals, but he never regained his form and was also troubled by injuries in the last few months.

Manyama was also shown the door, having joined  the club with a reputation of being a former PSL footballer of the year and coming from Europe. He did produce the goods in the 2019/20 title-chasing season, putting up performances that had sections of the media calling for his name to be considered for footballer of the season.

But signs that things didn’t go well for him in the past season were obvious when he played only 10 games in the league and returned no goals.

"Lebogang Manyama will also be out of contract at the end of June, and is free to find a new team,” said Chiefs. 

Chiefs also let go of their veteran centre-back Cardoso, the 33-year-old  who spent seven seasons at the Soweto giants. His most prolific season was the 2019/2020 one, where he played all 30 games and scored four crucial goals.

He’ll be assessing his options locally and abroad now that it is clear he has no future at Chiefs. Cardoso stated earlier this week that he wished to remain at Naturena. 

Veteran keeper and former Nigeria’s No1 Akpeyi has also surprisingly been shown the door. He started the season as number one but was eventually phased out by Brandon Peterson and Bruce Bvuma. 

The club also parted ways with Zesco United-acquired duo of Kambole and Agay, bringing an end to a disaster of a marriage that no party benefited from. Former Mamelodi Sundowns Castro also leaves the club after playing 122 games alongside SA-born Baccus. 

Chiefs this week confirmed the arrival of Zitha Kwinika and Ashley du Preez from Stellenbosch, as they attempt to provide new coach Arthur Zwane with ammunition ahead of the next season.

Amakhosi have already signed Siyethemba Sithebe on a free transfer from AmaZulu, and have apparently made a bid for Thabo Cele, who is based in Poland.

Other contracts expiring this month include those of Mulomowandau Mathoho, Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Bernard Parker, but Chiefs concluded a busy day in Naturena by stating more announcements in due course.

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