DStv Premiership

A look at PSL top-12 free agents’ log table

Following a busy transfer market which saw DStv Premiership clubs make major squad overhauls, there were notable big-name casualties who were shown the fast-revolving exit door. The biggest casualty that comes to mind is that of Happy Jele, getting an unhappy ending to his 16 years of loyalty and obedience to Orlando Pirates.

Some players were lucky to be snapped up by other teams soon after being evicted, proving that when one door closes, another opens elsewhere. However, there are still many players who lost their jobs too close to the kick-off of the 2022-2023 campaign, hence still club-hunting. 

Herewith FARPost’s top 13 free agents:

Happy Jele

Perhaps, some may call the former Pirates skipper not-so Happy Jele.

The one-team player finally left Orlando Stadium after the club decided against renewing his playing contract and offered him a non-playing role which he declined. The centre-back was the long-serving player after joining the Soweto club as a teenager back in 2006. The skipper featured in over 400 matches in all competitions, scoring 18 times and providing six assists. He won eight trophies, two league titles, two Nedbank cups, Telkom Knockout Cup and three MTN8 trophies.

Ramahlwe Mphahlele

The veteran fullback was a surprise casualty of Chiefs clearout. The 32-year-old landed in Naturena in 2016 from rivals Mamelodi Sundowns and the defender left without winning a trophy. Mphahlele is now trying his luck with AmaZulu FC and featured in the club’s pre-season KZN Premier’s Cup last Saturday.

Bernard Parker

Chiefs showed the skipper the exit door, ending his 11-year stay with the Glamour Boys. Parker joined the club in the 2011/12 season from Dutch outfit FC Twente. In 238 matches for Amakhosi, he scored 31 goals and provided 12 assists. He won two league titles, the Nedbank Cup and the MTN8 Cup. Currently, the 36-year-old has been spotted training at SuperSport United. However, there is no indication that coach Gavin Hunt would sign the striker.

Ntsikelelo Nyauza

Pirates released the 32-year-old as part of rebuilding the squad with fresh legs. The defender, who captained the team on numerous occasions, joined the Buccaneers in the 2018/19 season from Roses United. He ended his eight seasons with two trophies, the Nedbank Cup and the MTN8. Overall, Nyauza made 221 appearances for the Soweto giants, scoring seven goals and providing five assists.

Daniel Akpeyi

The Nigerian signed for Chiefs in the 2018/19 season from Chippa United. His hard work and consistency earned him the club’s number one jersey. However, his four-year marriage with Chiefs ended without winning a single trophy in 175 appearances.

Leonardo Castro

The Colombian international signed for the Amakhosi in the 2017/18 campaign after making a switch from Sundowns. The 33-year-old struggled for form with the Soweto giants, scoring just 25 goals and registering eight assists in 108 matches. He ended his five-year stay at the club without silverware.

Augustine Mulenga

The Zambian found a new home at AmaZulu in the 2021/22 campaign after leaving Pirates. He played 42 matches for Usuthu, scoring eight goals and providing 10 assists. His release at the KZN outfit was mainly due to his injury woes.

Justin Shonga

The once highly-rated goal-poacher became a free agent after Sekhukhune United terminated his contract barely after a season, mainly due to the off-field distractions. The 24-year-old left Babina Noko after scoring twice and providing an assist in 10 games.

Lebohang Manyama

The former DStv Premiership Player-of-the Year is clubless after being released by Chiefs, who he signed from Turkish outfit Konyaspor in the 2018-19 campaign. In the famous Amakhosi black and gold colours, the 31-year-old played 79 games, scored 15 goals and made 13 assists. He however is on the verge of reuniting with his former club Cape Town City.

Phakamani Mahlambi

The first South African footballer to sign for a North African outfit (Al Ahly in Egypt) is jobless after Sundowns opted not to extend his contract. The 24-year-old had a wonderful first season at the club. However, his form dropped and he was shipped out for loan spells at AmaZulu and Chippa United, but still failed to impress. On his return to Chloorkop, he was released, ending a four-year stay that produced nine trophies, five league titles, two Nedbank cups, Telkom Knockout and MTN8.

Lebohang Mokoena

The former Swallows FC captain is available on the market after the club decided against renewing his contract. Cheeseboy guided the Soweto club back to the top-flight league after a wonderful campaign in the National First Division. He left the Dobsonville Stadium outfit with 52 top-flight appearances under his belt, scoring twice and providing four assists.

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