Absa Premiership

Birds swoop and get Lucky

2014-06-25 19:03
Lucky Baloyi (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Moroka Swallows and Kaizer Chiefs diverted a chunk of local soccer attention from the World Cup on Wednesday to engage in a major mid-season PSL transfer deal.

The gist of the "done deal", confirmed by Swallows, was that their exciting left-back prospect, Levy Mokgothu, would be moving to the Amakhosi on a permanent transfer, while first-team fringe players from Chiefs, Lucky Baloyi and Philane Cele, would join the Birds on loan for the 2014/15 season.

The mutual arrangement stemmed from an initial request from Chiefs' general manager Bobby Motaung to buy Mokgothu, a player who burst onto the Premier League scene last season scoring against Chiefs on debut.

Seeking to recover from a near-disasterous 2013/14 season, which started with them being considered as PSL title contenders but ended with them finishing just above the relegation zone, Swallows had already made a number of significant changes to their squad.

Following on the heels of the transfer of former Chippa United player Asavela Mbekile, a consistent performer in the midfield last season, to Premier League champions Mamelodi Sundowns, Swallows had signed long-time Bloemfontein Celtic defensive stalwart Tsietsi Mahoa.

Mahoa, who performed mainly in the left-back position, could fill the gap caused by the departure of Mokgothu to Chiefs.

Swallows had also signed Kenyan international striker Kevin Ade Omondi, and Angolan under-20 international striker Joao de Oliveira was presently on trial at the Dube club.

While Swallows CEO Leon Prins was not letting the grass grow under his feet as he sought to restore the club to a position more in keeping with their tradition and stature, the club was still suffering from the loss of club sponsors Volkswagen.

Prins said despite concerted efforts and negotiations with a number of interested parties, nothing had yet been finalised in finding a replacement for the car manufacturing giants.

As a result, Swallows were adopting a more prudent approach to their deals in seeking the revival of the club and explained why they would allow players of the calibre of Mbekile and Mokgothu to move to big-spending clubs like Sundowns and Chiefs respectively.


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