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Simba Sithole impresses in South Africa

Report by Eddie Chikamhi

DYNAMOS striker Simba Sithole is a step closer to making a return to the Supa Diski after impressing former South African soccer champions SuperSport United.

Simba Sithole
Simba Sithole

Sithole was on trials at the Pretoria-based side for one week under the watchful eye of the club’s head coach Gavin Hunt and former Warriors defender Kaitano Tembo, who is now the team’s assistant coach.

Sithole, who might still have a point to prove following a frustrating stint at Mamelodi Sundowns during the 2011-2012 season, featured for the Tshwane-based side in a four-team tournament at the weekend and scored two goals.

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The friendly tournament also involved Denver Mukamba’s Bidvest Wits, Platinum Stars and Moroka Swallows, and SuperSport emerged as the overall winners after beating Swallows on penalties in the final.

Tembo yesterday was full of praise for the Dynamos striker Sithole and said Matsantsantsa were keen on engaging him as he fits the bill for the kind of player they are seeking to sharpen their strike-force during this mid-season break.

SuperSport are currently trailing log leaders Kaizer Chiefs by a massive 15 points on a distant eighth position and are aiming to come back stronger when the Absa Premiership programme resumes on February 13.

Speaking from his base in South Africa yesterday, Tembo said the Tshwane side will have to act swiftly to beat the deadline ahead of the closure of the transfer window. The transfer window will close this Thursday.

“There’s no doubt the boy did very well during the trials and we are all very happy with his performance. He played in two friendly matches yesterday (on Saturday) and scored two goals.

“I think he fits well into our system because we want a player who can play behind the striker and Simba demonstrated that he understands that position well because that’s where we played him.

“He is a player who scores goals and has a very good physique. He is the type of forward that we are looking for. We were impressed by him and we want him here. But it now all depends on whether he is able to get a work permit before the close of the transfer window.

“If that doesn’t happen we may go ahead and sign him and then he could join us in June,” said Tembo.

SuperSport have scored 19 goals in the league competition, winning three and drawing 11 games in 16 starts. The side is currently working on its frontline and Tembo said they are hoping for an improvement when the league resumes next month.

SuperSport recently made a swap deal with Ajax Cape Town which brought Bradley Gobler in exchange with another striker Mabhuti Khenyeza. Sithole could be their latest addition if they manage to agree terms with Dynamos.

Sithole’s manager Gibson Mahachi said the former Shooting Stars striker is expected back home this afternoon. Sithole was supposed to return last Friday but the club requested that he feature in a four-team tournament at the weekend in which he gave an outstanding performance.

Mahachi said SuperSport are now expected to table an offer for the striker.

“I hear that he has impressed and now we are waiting to get their official response. Simba is coming back tomorrow (today) and if they are really serious they will have to make an offer and it will be up to Dynamos,” said Mahachi.

Sithole had been registered by the Harare giants in their Champions League squad for this year.

DeMbare are also set to lose another key forward in Roderick Mutuma who reportedly impressed another South African side Bloemfontein Celtic and, with the Caf deadline for late entries set for Thursday, the Harare giants could be faced with a dilemma.

The initial deadline expired on January 15 and DeMbare will have to fork out US$500 for the late additions.

Currently Dynamos are training with no strikers and have already wasted a slot after failing to agree terms with Martin Vengesai. The other registered forward Francesco Zekumbawire has not yet committed himself as negotiations between his club Hwange and Dynamos have been taking too long to complete.

The only other striker in the team Farai Mupasiri missed training last week complaining of a back pain. The effects could have been badly felt yesterday as DeMbare were held to a goalless draw by newcomers Triple B in a pre-season friendly match at Mucheke.

Mupasiri could not make the trip to Mucheke and the champions played veteran Murape Murape upfront. The diminutive forward was assisted by their new signing Boban Zirintusa from Uganda. The Herald