#Chooseday. I choose Panyaza Lesufi,

Reading this Monday morning that Panyaza and his Moroka Swallows team of administrators have further acquired more sponsors for this glorious club namely Coca Cola, IT Technology, Bus adding to those before like Galistos. Panyaza needs real acknowledgement and celebration.
Although he is one of the most hardworking government official whom we are proud of but he still creates time to revive this glorious club affectionately known as The Beautiful Birds

Oh yes nothing has been published where Moroka Swallows will be playing this 2019-2020 Season although we are aware that in the 2018-2019 Season they played in ABC Motsepe League and unfortunately could not qualify for the playoff and promotion to NFD. Soon an announcement will be made of where the team will play.

Big brands associated with the majority of the people and other minority groupings have collapsed like PAC, Azapo, Pimville United Brothers, Umtata Bucks, Durban Bush Bucks, Durban City, Lusitano, Swaraj, Leicester City to mention few.

We must not allow other big brands to decimate and those which have collapsed, let’s learn from Panyaza creating time to revive our institutions

#longlivepanyaza #longliveorlandopirates #longlivemamelodisundowns #longlivekaizerchiefs #revivemorokaswallows #reviveswaraj #longliveanc #longlivebloemfonteinceltics #revivedurbancity#reviveleicestercity

The gracious Mike Ntombela and his role in the Percy Tau story

Last week we were honoured by Mr Mike Ntombela, a man who is a genuine legend on the pitch but his legacy which he is continuing to further build upon with his work behind the scenes of uncovering and polishing some of South Africa’s best talents through his sports management company and also giving back to the community.
As we discussed all matters of football from his humble beginnings of Senaone Gunners to playing for one of the big 3 of South African football with Mamelodi Sundowns, there were many great stories he shared and scoops but one that really stood out for me was towards the end of the interview in which he shared a story of how Percy Tau was moved from the youth team to the first team.

Percy Tau is a player who is now recognized as the best player in the PSL by his peers, media and fans, a player who was key to Mamelodi Sundowns winning the league last season by contributing 11 goals and 10 assists which has resulted in the player being heavily linked with Brighton and Hove in England.


So imagine our faces when when we were told that Percy Tau could have been promoted way earlier to the first team, we are talking like two to three years before he made his debut for the Mamelodi Sundowns outfit, we were absolutely gobsmacked at how far he could have reached permitting he kept the same quality and improved upon it more.

So to get to the story it’s important to understand that Mr Mike Ntombela was part of the technical team for Mamelodi Sundowns and upon starting that role he bore witness to the flashes of brilliance of Percy Tau who at that time was a youth player doing his matric, as Mr Mike Ntombela explained the then young lion was caught up in his studies and he was trying to figure out why he wasn’t already promoted, his studies were the stumbling block as he was told.

Mr Mike Ntombela then proceeded to have a meeting with Percy Tau’s mother and in that meeting he proceeded to apologize on behalf of the team as they didn’t spot her son’s talents earlier, as he told us Percy Tau should have been promoted at least 2-3 years earlier prior to his debut, thus a decision was made to stall his studies and rather focus on football.

The rest as they say is history as Percy Tau is now on the cusp of plying his trade in England and having finished his studies privately, the story for one makes one wonder had Percy Tau been recognised and promoted earlier how far would he be by now but also serves to show that education and sports shouldn’t replace the other but rather supplement each other, as Mr Mike Ntombela stated in his experience it keeps young players motivated rather than hindering them thus sports organization and schools need to work in conjunction with each other to better develop and nurture talent in our country.

Once more thank you to Mr Mike Ntombela for joining us on our weekly Friday football conversations show on 1912 online radio available on the tuluntulu app or via this link, https://iono.fm/s/32?autoplay=1, at 17:00 – 18:00 CAT.

My Best XI (Mamelodi Sundowns): Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala

Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala is one of the most successful coaches in the history of South African football. many fans would particularly remember his spell with Current African Champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, where he won an impressive haul of 10 trophies and presided over the illustrious period of the late 80,s and early 90’s at the club introducing the famous “Shoeshine and Piano” style of playing, which has been the characteristic of the Sundowns style of play for the years. Screamer who also went on to Coach Bafana Bafana in 1992 is currently the Technical director of Orlando Pirates, here he chosen his all-time Sundowns


Greg Le Grange
Ernest Chirwali
Sammy Troughton
Andries Panyaza Chitja
Lovemore Chafunya
Zane Moosa
Roger Feutmba

Khama Billiat, what a great talent, very quick, can go past defenders.
He is not selfish in the box. If he has one weakness, is that he needs to be calm in the box, he could score many goals.

Donald Ace Khuse, a must have in any team. He has a great football brain.
The only thing I taught him was that he needs to also know how to defend. He was. Complete player.

Rabbie Moripe, as a central midfielder he could win the ball cleanly. A very cunning and a clever footballer. A good reader of the game. He would stop any good opposition midfielder.  For instance Whenever we played Jomo Cosmos, he would mark Jomo Sono out of the game.

‘I’ve lost friends and missed family anniversaries because of football’ – Pitso Mosimane

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane at his home in Johannesburg. The champion coach speaks about his job, life in football and thoughts about his image dominating memes on Twitter (instert). 

Image: Thulani Mbele

After five seasons with Mamelodi Sundowns, Pitso Mosimane has delivered two PSL titles, four cups and a CAF crown; on course for a 3rd title. Gomolemo Motshwane chats with the coach about life on and off the pitch.

Who would you say is a close friend of yours in football?

Mike Ntombela is close to me.

Which game still haunts, even to this day?

Bafana Bafana versus Sierra Leone at the Mbombela Stadium. [In that tie, SA failed to qualify for the 2012 Afcon after celebrating the draw against Sierra Leone, thinking it was enough to advance].

What time do you sleep and wake up?

I’m unpredictable but I sleep at 2am and up at maybe 7.15am. On one of the other days I try to get more rest.

Do you know that you are the champion of memes on social media?

I don’t even know what a meme is. Really? You say it’s on Twitter? Ok, I will check it [laughs].

Who are the coaches who have taught you the most?

I had Roy Matthews who taught me a lot at Cosmos. Another who opened my eyes was my former Greek coach Nikos Alefantos at Ionikos. He was very intelligent, old fashioned. Carlos Alberto Parreira I must also give credit, he showed me lots of stuff.

Would you ever coach a national team again?

You never know, maybe when I’m older. At the moment I am happy where I am. The work load can be heavier at a club but sometimes you like the action.

Where is the most hostile place on the continent?

North Africa, you have pitch invasions and they are not friendly. But the one that takes the cake is Lubumbashi, the homeground of TP Mazembe. There is nothing like it.

Tell us about some of the sacrifices you have made in football?

You miss birthday parties of the kids; you miss anniversaries with the wife. I have lost so many good friends. I have lost genuine good people that I can’t even go back to due to commitment. When friends come [and] visit me, I can’t visit back you know.

What would winning your third Premiership title mean to you?

It would mean that the hard work has paid off and we have done our job. Sundowns is a big club, our fans expect titles.


Ntombela backs Serero revival


Thulani Serero’s mentor Mike Ntombela believes the forgotten Bafana Bafana midfielder will revive his career following his move to Vitesse Arnhem from Ajax Amsterdam.

Serero has not played first-team football this year after being demoted to play for Ajax’s feeder team in Netherlands’ second tier league.

In an era where South African players choose to settle for the comforts of returning home after struggling abroad, the 27-year-old Serero has stuck it out in Europe, where he is now heading into his seventh season.

“He [Serero] is adamant and still wants to play there [in Europe] because he still believes [in himself],” Ntombela tells KickOff.com.



“He hasn’t played [first-team] football for about six months which is not good for any player so he needed the change. Now he has gone to a team that is not of a similar profile as Ajax which I think is the right place for him to start off again and prove himself.

“He needs to obviously come back into the [South Africa] national team but that will come with playing at his club [Vitesse]. What I like is that he has the right attitude about the game, I think he is going to succeed,” says Ntombela.

Serero went under the guidance of Ntombela in his young years at Senaoane Gunners back home in his hometown of Soweto before leaving for Ajax Cape Town in his mid-teens.

The plus for Serero is that Vitesse are playing in the UEFA Europa League this season.


Radical transformation of football should be the number one goal in the list of the sporting priorities. A synchronised programme that will include all football structures is an inevitability. The PSL and SAFA need to come together and draw one program to create synergy in our professional and country football.

Although the Nedbank Final will be played on the 24th June between Orlando Pirates and Supersport United, our 2017/2018 Absa Premiership League has just finished with Bidvest Wits University, Mamelodi Sundowns and Cape Town City coming  first, second and third respectively. This means Wits and Sundowns will play in the 2018 Caf Champions League and Cape Town City will play in the Caf Confederation Cup and will be joined by either Orlando Pirates or Supersport United. In 2018 we will have 4 teams participating in the Caf Confederation Cup again, which is great news for our country.

Remember we have three teams participating in the group stages in both CAF tournaments from 13 May until 7 July 2017. Sundowns is in Champions League and Platinum Stars and Supersport United in the Confederation Cup, with our 2017/2018 Season starting probably on August 4. Their successful campaigns will definitely put the country on the continent’s map. However, the downside of taking part in the competition for South African teams is that they will be no rest for them, the worst hit will be Sundowns, in February 2018 they will not have had a rest or off-season for the third year in a row. Orlando Pirates this year came 11th, the probable reason being that because they played two seasons without rest after participating in the CAF tournaments from 2013-2015, they are still feeling the pinch of not having a rest.

There is one question South Africans must ask themselves, namely:

Is this success very good for our clubs and country?

Orlando Pirates won the Champions League in 1995, and lost in the finals of Champions League in 2013, and also lost in the finals of the Confederation Cup In 2015, they made SA to have two clubs in the Champions League.  Sundowns’ success in the Champions League also permitted us to have the second club in the CAF Confederation Cup, which is huge from the football side.


Orlando Pirates losing the 2013 finals of Champions League 

The success of Mamelodi Sundowns winning the Champions League in 2016 and playing in the Club World Cup in 2016 further brought huge strides in our football. What added more to it was them winning the 2016 Super Cup against the 2016 Confederation Cup winners TP Mazembe in South Africa. Super Cup is the competition between CAF Champions League winners against the Caf Confederation Cup winners.

Mamelodi Sundowns winning the Champions League in 2016 at Egypt

Mamelodi Sundowns winning the Champions League in 2016 at Egypt

On arrival from Egypt with the trophy Sundowns had a rousing welcome by all with the then Minister of Sports Fikile Mbalula and football officials, including the PSL Chairman Irvin Khoza and Sundowns President Patrice Motsepe. Furthermore the players were paid by both Mbalula and club through Motsepe, which was great. However, the clubs were never asked what other support do they need? The biggest thing what the teams needs is logistical support as they participate in these tournaments and rest.

PSL Chairman Irvin Khoza and Sundowns President Patrice Motsepe

Then Minister of Sports Fikile Mbalula and football officials, including the PSL Chairman Irvin Khoza and Sundowns President Patrice Motsepe welcoming Sundowns.

Out of the four South African clubs that qualified for 2017 Caf Tournaments only Wits University has not qualified to the Group Stages. The question asked are Wits happy or not happy that they are not in the Group stages? Most say Wits are more happy because there are more frustration for those clubs which have qualified like no off season, not time with their families which is more important.

Our football is improving but needs strong leadership from all stakeholders mainly SAFA (PSL), Government (SRSA/Dirco), Business and Coaches. The two vigilant observers’ media and supporters must not be taken lightly as they need to support whatever decision is taken.

Listening to the complains about tiredness by all three Coaches, Pitso Mosimane, Stuart Baxter and Kevin Johnson, of the clubs still involved in CAF tournaments, Sundowns, Supersport and Plat Stars. I think it is about time all major stakeholders set down and discussed whether we play Jan- December or August- May, Sports and Recreation Minister Nxesi, please help.



The Clever Boys is Bidvest Wits University FC nickname which was coined by few Wits ground and manual workers who followed the team they worked for led by our Groundsman Bro Sam Ndlovu. They increased as they were followed by reserve team players, parents and families of kids who played in the junior and Reserve teams of Wits during the early 80’s

I joined Wits University Reserves in March 1981 by then a predominantly white team and was promoted in June to the senior team, which had only Mike Mangena as the black player. Mangena had joined Wits in 1980 and found Zeph Mthembu who later left at end of 1980, hence on my arrival it was Mangena who was the only black player in the team. We were joined in 1983 by Leornard “Wagga Wagga” Likoebe; we were known as the 3 musketeers or the “kitchen boys” who sold out and played for white people instead of playing for black teams, but to some we were the pioneers of social cohesion against a bad system of apartheid proving that blacks were competing with whites and being in the starting line ups and winning not just games but also trophies for our team Wits University.

This period was the tenure of Raymond Hack and Prof Ronnie Schloss as Chairman and President respectively. Schloss and Hack convinced me to train with Wits after Mangena advised them that I was a good player. I then obliged and trained with Wits and I was signed immediately. During this tenure 1981-1985 when I played for Wits and the Coaches like Mike Kenning, Julie Kaplan helped by Martin Cohen, then kenning again on his second stint.

During this time there, white legends like Rod Anley, Brian Pomroy, Richard Kellet, Cliffie Crouch, Dave Jacobs, Tony Jacobsen, Andy Stanton, Mark Moca, Dickie McMillan, Dave Waterson, Jimmy Cook, John Ellse, Steve Haupt, Trevor Tennent ( the longest serving captain) the European exports Miljia Aleksis, Steve Smith, Frank McGrelis, Andy Geddis and last but not least who can forget the best of them all the legends at Wits, Rodney” The Bush Buck”Bush.

In that mix there we younger talented players who played in the Reserves like Martin Glauber, Erick Koseff, Howard Koseff, Zoran Illic, Craig Nathan, Scot Simpson, Hugo Melandowitz, Nelson Castro, John Comittis, Ivan Speechly, Errol Mann, Gary Soresman, Pino Ancorola, and a lot others. This group mainly came from the University football program spearheaded by astute Jimmy Backos and Derek Blackensee. With these players and strong administration, the team was ready to compete and win trophies.

Although we lost 2-1 against Kaizer Chiefs in the final of Datsun in 1983, where Mangena scored a 40 yards scorcher, we won the BP Top 8 in 1984 and 1985 JPS Final, where I scored the winner and voted Man of the Match. However, we never won the League, the nearest we came to was coming second in 1982 and 1985. Mangena left end of 1984 for a Wits transfer record R25 000 to Bush Bucks and I left When I left I end of 1985 for record transfer R33 000 to Mamelodi Sundowns and Wagga was released end of 1985.

Whenever I was at Sundowns I would want beat my former team to show that I have improved. After I left Wits, I continued to follow them to the extent that if Sundowns does not win any trophy, that trophy would have rather be won by Wits, including the League. As a player I won the League twice 1988 and 1990 with Sundowns as a player, once in 1993 as part of the technical stuff and recently won it twice in 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 still on the technical department but always wished Wits should win the League.

After I left, new coaches like Joe Frickleton, Eddie Lewis coming for his second stint, John Latham, Boebie Solomons, Roger De SA, Eric Tinkler from 1986 thereafter we have seen an array of legends coming in still winning trophies like Ronny Moletsane, Abel Shongwe, Kevin Mudie, Eric Tinkler, Kevin Rafferty, Nicky Shaw, Steve Tlou, Peter Gordon, Bradley Carnell, Warren Du Pont, Steve Barker and Roan Malgue, just to mention a few. But Wits never won the League and going without winning the League until the arrival of the Chairman Brian Joffe who is not only wealthy, but also likes the game and is generous, Jose Ferreira as the CEO , later Jonathan Schloss as COO joining the long serving George Mokgotsi in administration. However, the catalyst was the arrival of Gavin Hunt as a Coach with his great pedigree of having the League with Supersport United 3 times in a row and brought the belief that Bidvest Wits can win the League.

During Hunt’s tenure the team finished 3rd twice, then runner’s up and this Season finally landing the top prize. The team has been signed a lot of good players like Buhle Mkhwanazi, Jabu Shongwe, Diane Klate, Moeneeb Joseph, Mogakolodi Ngele, Cuthbert Malajila, Elias Pelembe, Sifiso Hlanti, Darren Keet, Thabang Monare, Granwald Granwald Scott  and Bongani Khumalo. The  team also promoted players like Phumlani Ntshangase, Ben Motswari, Phakamani Mahlambi and ReeveFrossler just to mention a few.

Never did I ever think that the team could win the League with myself and Prof Schloss making a contribution. Schloss, through his son Jonathan who is now the club’s COO (While I was playing Jonathan used to come and watch as a small 10 year old) and through my “son” Thulani “Tyson” Hlatshwayo, also from Soweto who is not only a key player but also the Captain. I took Hlatshwayo under my wing and mentored him from when he was 15 years old until now. I watched Wits v Chiefs on the last game of the Season, although Wits lost the game, but they received the trophy in front of the Kaizer Chiefs and their supporters which had increased from those who used to watch us but are still predominantly black which and Wits players are now predominantly black than when I played Wits. Well done “Clever boys”.

Well done the “Clever Boys”

Tribute to Stanley “Screamer/ Nigger” Tshabalala

I was fortunate enough to witness former legendary Mamelodi Sundowns coach Stanley “ Screamer” Tshabalala mesmerising the crowds with his amazing football skills, standing on top of the ball and screaming. His great footwork were no doubt an asset for his teams, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

People who followed him through his career, mentioned that Orlando Preston Brothers  and in Alexandra for Fighters FC, fans always keenly waited for Tshabalala to turn on the style, skill and of screaming during the game, hence the nickname Screamer. I also saw him playing at Kaizer XI later  Kaizer Chiefs in the late 70’s.

He later coached Jomo Cosmos and Giant Blackpool in the mid 80’s.  I had never thought I could end up being closer to him, walk side by side with him as he honed his coaching career all the later  years, particularly at Mamelodi Sundowns in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Recently had lunch with him at the Killarney Mall as we went down the memory lane, we mainly focused on the football in the past, we also touched little things like the yellow Peugeot 404 he used to drive, Colt Gallant 2600 I drove, the Book Shop and Swarma Shop we used to visit in Hillbrow.

Also our physical training at Zuurbekom and Orlando Stadium. Those were the good old days. Hillbrow became a popular winding down place for dedicated footballers where they bought overseas football magazines and newspapers or watching games at the hotel, in a effort to sharpen their skills. Footballers were hungry for knowledge, to improve their understanding of the game and took fitness very seriously.

Screamer influenced a lot of us to visit these areas during our off days hence myself, Pitso Mosimane, Harold Jazzy Queen Legodi, Ace Khuse, Rabbi Moripe just to mention a few frequented these places.

I remember vividly how I met this football legend together with the late Coloured Passmore in December 1985, at corner Harrison and Bree in Johannesburg who  later lured me to join big spender, Mamelodi Sundowns which was owned by a Soweto tycoon, Zola Mahobe.

The Johannesburg city center was the place where most people met particularly around lunch time.

Tshabalala and Passmore were there to convey a message from Mahobe who was affectionately known as “Ophethe insimbi” meaning,  one who is financially loaded.

They told me Mahobe would like to sign me and will ‘look after me”. During that time I was playing for Wits University, a predominantly white club in those days and contemplating to move to a predominantly black club. I knew Tshabalala had recommended me to Mahobe, even Passmore was advising me to go to Sundowns. It was not surprising a coach and owner of Giant Blackpool  to advise me to go to another club  other than his, as I had known them closely from the early 80’s, they were bigger brothers who cared about me more than themselves.

Although it would be Jabu “Nyambose”Mthethwa , a Senaoane friend and businessman who would pick me up (in Tshiawelo at our vegetable business station with my partner and friend Sam Muofhe) to a meeting with Mahobe along the way Mthethwa persuaded me to join Sundowns, Tshabalala technically advised  me to go to Sundowns. Tshabalala’s nickname was “Nigger”was becoming more common even though I had heard it earlier at Passmore’s spray painting shop in Dobsonville  with abo Keke, Kufu, Tshatsha, Maraba, Les, Jeff Maswekameng, Bra Za, Bra Titos, Bra Mbuzana to mention a few. Nigger was a popular nickname used by black players who had a stint in the US. The likes of Jomo Sono, Ace Ntsoelengoe, Webster Lichabe, Kenneth “ The Horse” Mokgojoa,  Andries “Six Mabone” Maseko, Johannes Yster Khomane, Martin Cohen, Rodney Bush, including Tshabalala were amongst players who plied their trades in the US.

I still call him Bra Nigger in remembrance of our meeting with Passmore and other Bra’s as they were older the me, hence i had to call them Bra. Yes there were his lieutenants at Sundowns like Trott Moloto and Spear Makhoba and a lot in Orlando east, west and extension guys including those in Pretoria  including Sono who still call him “Nigger”.

In 1984 Bra Big Joe Matimba and Bra Fish Kekana(both late, may their souls rest in peace) visited my family to try and lure me to Sundowns at the time when Sundowns did not have money. They arrived at home when there was a church service conducted by Reverend “12/ 12” who got this name that the church finishes at 12 minutes after midnight. I walked out bare feet, it is AmaZion culture to take off shoes whenever you enter the church. It was quite awkward but we quickly agreed that I would come to their game on Sunday as Wits was playing on Saturday. I did honour the appointment with my friend Sam Muofhe and we were well looked after. Bra Joe and Bra Fish did play a role but It was in 1985 after meeting Tshabalala’s that I took his advice to join Sundowns.

In January 1986, I arrived at Sundowns with my friends and other very good players like  Samuel “Ewe” Khambule, Mark  Anderson, Pitso Mosimane, Mike Mangena, William Zondi,  just to mention a few. The coach was Ben Segale and Tshabalala was still at Giant Blackpool. There was a lot of good players at Sundowns like Walter Kutumela, Go Mabusela, Bashin Mahlangu, Basil Steenkamp and many more. Around end of April, the coach was changed and Tshabalala was brought in as the replacement. That was the beginning of the resurgence of Sundowns

Although there were times that Tshabalala and I never saw things the same way when he arrived but we built a stronger bond later on, between 1986-1991 at Sundowns until now. Hence I can categorically say that the seven titles which Sundowns won during these years, was because of Tshabalala’s influence, yes he left towards end of 1988 and was back in 1990.

Let me talk about what Tshabalala brought to Sundowns namely a playing style commonly known as “Piano and Shoeshine”.  I would do an injustice as what Shoeshine and Piano is because the best person to do that is Tshabalala himself, in brief, Shoeshine and Piano is the type and style of beautiful football starting from the back through the midfield to the strikers.

It came after sportswear brand Kappa, the  then technical sponsor of both Chiefs and Sundowns. Kappa was owned  by the Casaletti family of Rob, Emmy and Vivian, took Screamer to Italy and visited AC Milan and Juventus.

Upon returning from that trip Tshabalala brought the type of football enjoyed by all people, it was unbelievable and the results were there, even beat with style the then giants of SA football; Pirates, Chiefs and Swallows. This style attracted a lot of supporters from all over but more in Mamelodi where it brought a lot of excitement and happiness.  Mahobe a boy from Soweto, wanted to make Sundowns not only a Mamelodi team but also the top team competing with South African giants and also when the Krok brothers( Abe and Solly) and Patrice Motsepe came, they further confirmed with action and resources that Sundowns becomes  a successful and plays beautiful football.

I hope one day Tshabalala and Mahobe like what the Krok brothers, Tsiclas famiy, Mosimane and Motsepe have done for Sundowns will be honoured and given the freedom of the township of Mamelodi for what they contributed to this glorious club and its community.

Tshabalala is now the Technical Director of Orlando Pirates FC.   

Mike Ntombela former wits and Sundowns player owns Mike Ntombela Sports Management and he writes in his personal capacity  www.mikentombelasports.co.za