The Herald (Harare)

15 January 2013

Zimbabwe/South Africa: 'Mwanjali Safe At Sundowns'

ZIMBABWE internationals, Method Mwanjali and Esrom Nyandoro, are set to have an extended stay at South African Premiership side, Mamelodi Sundowns, beyond the current season that ends in May.

Nyandoro has struggled with injuries and nailing down a regular first team jersey, as he gets to the twilight of his career, while Mwanjali's future has been clouded by the Asiagate scandal.

Mwanjali was banned for life by Zifa.

Yesterday, Sundowns' technical director, Trott Moloto, revealed that they were ready to extend the contracts of Mwanjali and Nyandoro.

Speaking in Harare yesterday, Moloto allayed fears that the duo maybe on their way out of the Chloorkop side, insisting the players were still very much in the club's plans.

"People should not panic. With Method and Esrom, these are valuable players who bring something special to the club," said Moloto.

"The players only started training on Friday, and today (yesterday) as we speak, they are at Isokinetic High Performance Centre, for a normal standard practice to measure their level of fitness.

It's normal that at a certain stage a contract comes to an end. But what I can tell you about these players is that they are very much part of the team going forward. There is a mechanism of people sitting down and renegotiating. Say, for instance, a player has been earning 10 rand in the contract you will be negotiating for the player to earn say 12 rand.

"We are still to hear from them but when they are ready they will come forward and we talk about it."

Moloto, who was accompanied to Harare by another Sundowns senior scout, Harris Choue, for a meeting with Dynamos and CAPS United flew back to South Africa yesterday and is expected back in the country today for another meeting with Highlanders, also reiterated the club's position on the players that have been fingered in the Asiagate scandal.

Mwanjali and Nyasha Mushekwi have been implicated in the match-fixing scandal and while the former Warriors skipper, Mwanjali, was slapped with a life ban by Zifa, Mushekwi escaped with a lighter sentence.

The club has stood by the players.

Yesterday, Moloto, reiterated the position and said the issue will not even affect the contracts negotiations with the defender.

"As a club we have made a decision, we are quite confident with what the players told us about match-fixing and we have to take their word," said Moloto.

"There has to be that trust between a club and the players. The scandal, it happened, but doesn't mean anything. People have to be found guilty and no one from Fifa came to us or pointed a finger."

The former Bafana coach also spoke on the unfruitful stint of Dynamos striker Simba Sithole with the Pretoria side.

"Simba was never brought to Sundowns with very high expectations to the extent that when he goes onto the pitch he is a kind of player who would surprise everyone by scoring hat-tricks.

"At Sundowns we also had experienced players like Nyasha (Mushekwi) and Katlego Mphela and you would agree with me that these are international players.

"So to expect him to compete with these international players was a bit too much to ask of him.

"We didn't want to load an unnecessary burden on the young player. So we said to the coach this is a special boy keep him for the future.

"But the coach then was under pressure and when he wanted to pick him that's when Sithole suffered two serious injuries. So we had to find him somewhere else to continue playing football.

"The target was to bring him back after two seasons because we believed there was something special in this boy but then he decided to move on.

"Simba is a good player and he will remain a special player," said Moloto.

The Absa Premiership big spenders enjoy cordial relations with CAPS United and this have seen a number of the Green Machine players joining the Brazilians.

Yesterday, Moloto said his team may scout for more talent here. Although, during the current transfer season, Sundowns have not signed any foreign player as their quota is already full, they may put some local players on the Sundowns' radar if they are impressed with their performance.

"We are coming here and this is a very special tour to us. We will see what happens.

"You never know this might be an opportunity for one or two players from these clubs to clinch a deal. We are coming here with an open mind," said Moloto.

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