DANIËL BASSON: Having dropped to 66th position in the Fifa world rankings after being defeated 5-0 by Brazil and only managing a goalless draw against lower ranked New Zealand, South African football fans were looking for someone to restore their faith in Bafana Bafana. For this the South African Football Association put their faith in the hands of Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba once again.
When appointed at the end of July 2014, Shakes Mashaba entered his fourth stint as the head coach of the South African senior men’s national football team. The appointment of Mashaba was somewhat surprising as many international coaches were linked to the job, including 2013 African Cup of Nations winning coach Stephen Keshi, who was recently fired from his position as head coach of Nigeria.
WILLIAM ALDRIDGE: Michael Faasen, a second-year BCom Financial Management student at UP, is currently the third choice goalkeeper for PSL-side AmaTuks.
Originally a cricket player, Faasen captained the St Stithians College first team for two years in high school and was then selected to represent the South African u/19 cricket team to face England in 2011. He then went on to play cricket for Tuks’ first team in 2012 and 2013.
It was while staying in Kollege residence in 2013 that Faasen, who has always loved football, decided to give football another try. He only played goalkeeper for the Kollege res side because they were short a player in that position. During the season he was spotted by University Sports South Africa (USSA) scouts and after attending a trial with the USSA squad (better known as the Varsity Cup football side), he was asked to play for them. After six months of training with the USSA squad, Faasen was called up to the first team earlier this year by Steve Barker, the head coach of AmaTuks.
BRIAN KIAUTHA: The 60th edition of the Uefa Champions League kicks off on 16 September for the 2014/15 campaign. Last season Real Madrid won their tenth Champions League trophy after beating fellow Spanish giants Atlético Madrid 4-1 in a thrilling final in Lisbon. This season’s final will be held in Berlin, Germany and in just under ten months we will know who will battle who for the European top honours.
The Champions League is one of the biggest club football tournaments in the world as the top teams of each European league battle for the coveted trophy. When the draw was conducted earlier in August, all the tops teams found themselves in unpredictable groups, making it difficult to predict who will make it to the last 16 round.
BRIAN KIAUTHA: In South Africa a new football season marks not only participation in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) but also in cup competitions, like the MTN 8 Cup, Nedbank Cup (also known among football fans as the South African version of the FA Cup) and the Telkom Knockout Cup. The team that wins the Absa Premiership is considered to be superior or is seen as having enjoyed a better season compared to a team that has won, for example, the Nedbank Cup. Mamelodi Sundowns won the Absa Premiership in 2013/14 and are considered to have had a better season compared to Platinum Stars, who won both the MTN 8 Cup and the Telkom Knockout Cup but finished eighth in that Absa Premiership season.
SIMPHIWE NHLABATHI: Football managers are known for their tactical prowess and ability to run a football club, but more often than not they tend to say things that leave us raising an eyebrow and chuckling at the absurdity of the statement.Perdeby took a look at the top five football manager quotes.
KHUMO MEKGWE: There has been good quality football from all the universities in the 2014 Varsity Football season so far. UP Tuks have played well and stand a good chance to win the title. Perdebyspoke to UP Tuks Varsity Football captain Robin Swarts.
BRIAN KIAUTHA: After a three-month hiatus the Barclays Premier League is back. During the break, Germany won the World Cup, beating a Messi-led Argentina 1-0. The impact of the German players, such as Mesut Özil and André Schürrle, will soon be felt as the players and fans alike prepare for the new season.
Manchester City made it two league wins in three years at the end of the 2013/14 season, with Liverpool finishing two points behind the champions. Manchester City has had a quiet transfer window so far, but they have brought players like Bacary Sagna and Frank Lampard into the squad as they aim to retain the title.
DEAN HORWITZ: Just two months after winning the Golden Ball at the FIFA World Cup, Lionel Messi is back in the headlines, except this time it’s for all the wrong reasons. Messi and his father, Jorge, stand accused of tax evasion to the tune of 5.3 million dollars, an allegation both of them deny. If found guilty, the player and his father could face up to six years in prison and a hefty fine of up to 32 million dollars.
Messi and his father were officially charged with tax evasion by the Spanish government in September last year. They, together with Messi’s former agent, were all charged with creating an elaborate scheme to conceal his finances using banks and shell companies in the UK, Uruguay, Switzerland and Belize. The charges allege that false tax returns were submitted in an attempt to defraud the Spanish Government of more than three million dollars between 2006 and 2009.
ABONGILE SKOSANA: AmaTuks open the 2014/2015 Absa Premiership campaign on 9 August against newly-promoted Polokwane City. Perdeby spoke to AmaTuks head coach Steven Barker about their upcoming season.
AmaTuks did not finish in the top eight of the Absa Premiership last season. How are you planning to up your game this season?
Compared to what many people think, I don’t think it was a poor season and often the log position doesn’t determine the performance that we put on last season, but yeah, it was a tough season for us, having lost a number of key players. I do think that the team played well last season and there were a lot of games that we never really lost [but] we were unfortunate not to have got more out of those games. This season we are far more settled in terms of the squad and the pre-season preparations. We’ve got the majority of the squad from day one as compared to last season. So, I think that would be a big bonus for us this year and a lot of our young players were the youngest players in the league last season ... and I think that extra year [of] experience will help us this coming season.
NQOBILE DLUDLA: Bivest Wits advanced to the semi-finals of the season’s first big tournament after trashing Bloemfontein Celtic 4-3 on penalties at the Bidvest Stadium on Friday night.
Wits goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane won the game for the Clever Boys by saving an attempt from Celtic’s Limbikani Mzava with the game at 3 each in the MTN8 tournament. The match ended goalless after 120 minutes of play.