Johannesburg - In-form Bennett Chenene and David Mathebula will be in the Moroka Swallows squad to face Wits University in their PSL game at the Dobsonville Stadium on Friday night - in spite of signing pre-contracts with SuperSport United for next season.
This was confirmed on Thursday by Swallows CEO Leon Prins, who, however, said he was "deeply disappointed" the in-transit Birds would be leaving the club on the completion of their current contracts.
"We resurrected their careers when they were at a low level," said Prins, "and made them attractive offers to renew their current contracts. We wanted to hold onto them, but they thought otherwise.
"Maybe making a move might seem the right course at this time," added the Swallows CEO, "but when a player strikes a high note with a club, it's usually in his best interest to remain where he is and not risk a slump in form in an unfamiliar environment."
In spite of this, Prins said Chunene and Mathebula would be considered in the same way as any of the club's other players for the remainder of the present season and be selected or otherwise strictly on merit.
"What is more," added the Swallows CEO, "we have a fine complement of gifted attacking players like Siyabonga Nomvethe, Lerato Chabangu and top current PSL scorer Katlego Mashego under contract for the coming season and the departure of Chunene and Mathebula will not create a crisis in the camp."
Swallows returned to the PSL's winners circle at the start of the season after a lengthy absence by annexing the Top Eight title. After a slump earlier in the Premier League programme, they have returned to form and are currently among the league's top eight teams and in a position to defend their title next season.
Chenene, too, has been in sparkling form of late, with a succession of spectacular goals elevating him into 10th place among the PSL's scorers for the season.
"But life will go on without him," said Prins, "and for his sake, I hope he has not made the wrong move."