|Danke Siyabonga: Nkosi during his German playing days|
ON the day that Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns secured expensive reinforcements from the north, Kaizer Chiefs fans are welcoming back a talent from a little closer to home.
The Buccaneers announced the arrival of Zimbabwe striker Takesure Chinyama from Dynamos on a salary of R100,000-a-month – significantly more than the R70,000 Chiefs general manager Bobby Motaung offered Free States Stars for their top-scorer Edward Manqele last week – and Mamelodi Sundowns are believed to be paying nearly twice that to lure Ghana’s Under 20 captain Mumuni Abubaker to Chloorkop after he failed a trial at Liverpool.
But while the anxious Amakhosi await the outcome of a board meeting at Free State Stars to find out Manqele’s future – Sundowns apparently doubled Bobby’s offer - it is the return of Siyabonga Nkosi which has the goal-and-black all a-twitter with excitement.
Newcastle-born Nkosi, who started his footballing life at Bloemfontein Celtic, before first moving to Chiefs in 2006 and on to Germany and Israel before a return to SuperSport United, plied his trade for Golden Arrows with some success last season.
But when new coach Stuart Baxter, who gave Nkosi his Bafana debut in 2005, expressed an interest, busy Bobby did the business and brought the 30-year-old back to Naturena.
On the Chiefs official website, Nkosi says, what you’d expect; Siyabonga: “Thanks. I am excited to be back here at Naturena. It really feels great because for me Chiefs is home.
“I thought the feeling would be different this time around having been here couple of seasons back. But I am still as excited as I was the first time I joined.
“My contract with Golden Arrows was coming to an end in June so my representative, Josiah Mpono told me that there are few clubs that have shown interest on my services. He also mentioned that Chiefs had also enquired; I told him on the spot; ‘focus on Chiefs’. Re-joining Chiefs was my first preference.
“I always felt that I have unfinished business here. I wanted to walk that journey again as I only spent a season the last time. There was a strong feeling to complete the journey I had started. As a fan I have always wanted to see Chiefs winning the league and I am glad now that I have been given an opportunity to contribute to that.
“I didn’t know so many people wanted to see me back at Chiefs. I am really surprised. Amakhosi fans have reacted to the news, it’s been exciting to meet fans on the street, wishing me and the team well in the new season.
“I am looking forward to the challenge of pulling on that gold and black again. I strive on challenges and I will be competing with the best players in the country. Joining Chiefs has re-ignited that competitive spirit in me and I am looking forward grabbing this opportunity with both hands.
“I will be going back to Durban to sort out few things and I can’t wait to meet my teammates when pre-season starts in the next couple of days.”
Chiefs fans, having already seen Morgan Gould arrive from SuperSport, will now be waiting to see what happens to Bloemfontein Celtic’s unsettled Mulomowandau “Tower” Mathoho, who partnered Gould in central defence in the 3-0 win over Gabon in Mbombela last week. Motaung made it clear last week that he expected Mathoho to be in a Chiefs shirt next season – but no official confirmation has yet emerged. Mathoho is coming under huge pressure to put Chiefs ahead of Sundowns despite the financial rewards – particularly on his Facebook page, where dozens of Amakhosi are leaving their pleas.
Unlike Gould and Nkosi – as well as recent acquisitions Sibuniso Gaxa and Bernard Parker – Tower and Manqele might require a substantial transfer fee and with Chiefs reluctant to deal at anything over R3.5m, Sundowns continue to lurk.
But there is another name on the agenda. Katlego Mphela – the alleged Killer who struggled to impress Johan Neeskens at Sundowns last season – has a known admirer in Baxter, who set up his trial at Glasgow Celtic last year. Busy Bobby and Chiefs may yet lure another major star to Naturena. Watch this space.
NKOSI’S CAREER IN A NUTSHELL:
2003–2006 Bloemfontein Celtic 52 (12)
2006–2007 Kaizer Chiefs 26 (4)
2007–2008 Arminia Bielefeld 9 (0)
2009 Maccabi Netanya 15 (1)
2009–2010 Supersport United 15 (1)
2010– Golden Arrows 44 (8)
2005–2009 South Africa 25 (2)