Hits and misses: PSL’s best recruits and flops

Appollis came of age at Polokwane while Chiefs regret signing Gonzalez

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Oswin Appollis of Polokwane City’s performance on the field caught the eyes of Bafana coach Hugo Broos.
Oswin Appollis of Polokwane City’s performance on the field caught the eyes of Bafana coach Hugo Broos.
Image: Philip Maeta

It was a marriage made in heaven for certain teams as their new signings blossomed straight away in the just-concluded season, while others simply made the wrong investment in personnel. We look at the best and worst signings of 2023/24

Best signings 

Olivier Touré (Stellenbosch)

The 25-year-old Touré joined Stellenbosch at the beginning of the campaign from relegated Marumo Gallants. Winning more than five DStv Premiership man of the match accolades, the Ivorian centre-back was crucial in Stellies stellar season as they won the Carling Knockout, their first ever top-flight trophy, and finished third to qualify for the CAF Confederation Cup. Touré played 34 matches for the Cape Winelands side.

Oswin Appollis (Polokwane City)

Appollis, 22, moved to Polokwane at the start of the season from Motsepe Foundation Championship side Pretoria Callies and never took time to knuckle down in the big league. The left-winger missed just one of Rise and Shines 30 league games, netting six times while he laid three assists to aid them to earn a spot in the MTN8 for next season as they finished eighth. Appollis performances also caught the eyes of Bafana coach Hugo Broos, who didnt hesitate to take him to the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

Lucas Ribeiro (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Joining from Belgian second-tier side SK Beveren last July, Ribeiro adapted swiftly to Sundowns style of play as, despite injuries here and there, he managed to score an impressive 16 goals and racked up nine assists from 37 games across all competitions. The 25-year-old, whose Sundowns deal expires in June 2028, was deployed in at least three positions – operating as a main striker, as a second striker and as a right-winger. 

Patrick Maswanganyi (Orlando Pirates)

The playmaker nicknamed Tito had a brilliant first season at Pirates after joining from SuperSport United where he was just a fringe player at the start of the season. Maswanganyi established himself as Pirates main man, scoring 10 goals while he laid 12 assists from 40 matches in all tournaments. The 26-year-old was also rewarded with a few Bafana Bafana call-ups as national team coach Hugo Broos views him as heir to ageing Themba Zwane, 34, in that crucial playmaker position at Bafana. 

Samir Nurkovic (TS Galaxy)

After being dropped like a hot potato by Cape Town City and Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca, fearing his well-documented knee injury wouldnt heal during trials at both clubs, Nurkovic found home at Galaxy and proved his naysayers wrong. The striker, who answers to the sobriquet Kokota Piano, joined Galaxy as a free agent last September, and went on to score an impressive eight goals from 22 league games, where he only made six starts. In fact, Nurkovic, 32, scored all of his eight league goals off the bench.

And the flops...

Jasond Gonzalez (Kaizer Chiefs)

Joining Chiefs from Bolivian top-flight side Real Santa Cruz in January this year, Gonzalez was tipped to be the solution to Chiefs woes, but the 25-year-old ended up adding to Amakhosis crisis as he never gave them anything. In fact, to say the Colombian was a flop would be an understatement as he always looked out of his depth. He played 13 games for Chiefs without scoring and not even managing an assist. No surprise hes being shipped out.

Thamsanqa Gabuza (TS Galaxy)

Gabuzas move to Galaxy from SuperSport at the beginning of the campaign didnt work out as many would have predicted. The 36-year-old failed to break into the starting line-up at the Rockets, making just eight league appearances with four starts. The former Bafana man never scored for Galaxy and was released in February, three months before the campaign was wrapped up. 

Lesedi Kapinga of Orlando Pirates.
Lesedi Kapinga of Orlando Pirates.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Kgaogelo Sekgota (Stellenbosch)

As he was struggling for game time, Chiefs did Sekgota a favour by giving him his clearance to join Stellenbosch as a free agent last August. Sekgota had a promising start to life in Cape Winelands, starting their maiden game of the season, the MTN8 quarterfinal against SuperSport United. The speedy left-footed winger would see his contract terminated six months later, with the club suggesting he was ill-disciplined. All in all, Sekgota scored once from 17 outings during his ill-fated six-month stay at Stellies.

Lesedi Kapinga (Pirates)

Kapinga joined Pirates last July from Sundowns, hoping to get his career back on track. However, things didnt really go well for him in his first season at Pirates. He continued to struggle for minutes, starting just two of the 13 games he played across all completions. He scored once. The 29-year-old just didnt live up to expectations.

Rowan Human (AmaZulu)

A lot was expected from Human when he joined AmaZulu off the back of a brilliant Cosafa Cup last July but he ended up enduring a disappointing season, where he only started one of the 11 games he played in all competitions without finding the back of the net. AmaZulu signed the 23-year-old midfielder from relegated Maritzburg United, beating Kaizer Chiefs to his signature.

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