Normally, there aren’t so many “big signings” that get concluded during the January transfer window anywhere in the world, unless a club is signing a player who has been declared a free agent or unless there is a player moving from one club to another on a loan deal.
In most cases when a team is fighting relegation or chasing a League Title, they hardly ever sell any of their star players no matter how lucrative and tempting the offer might be but for GladAfrica Championship side Steenberg United, that seems to be a different story.
The GladAfrica Championship “Rookies” parted ways with two of their influential players during the January transfer window, with star midfielder Ruzaigh Gamildien (pictured below) who was also the club’s top scorer with 11 goals joining Absa Premiership side, Chippa United.
Meanwhile, defender Ayabulela Konqobe moved to Finland to join Ekenas IF.
“Ruzaigh leaving us had a very serious impact on our pursuit for the League Title, hey! Ruzaigh did not need too many touches to find the back of the net. He’s a star player and had a clear impact on us you know, he is disciplined on and off the field, he was a top class player. Honestly the players were learning a lot from him,” Steenberg FC manager Simphiwe Clans said in an interview with FARPost.
“And it’s not only Ruzaigh that left us. Ryan Bartman (also joined Chippa United), Ayabulela Konqobe left us and that clearly had a serious impact. I think also when coach Mike (Lukhubeni) left, the team was not really the same,” admitted Clans.
FARPost then asked the Steenberg United club manager to explain how the deal for club top scorer Gamildien was concluded midway into the season, despite the club being tied on 32 points with GladAfrica Championship log leaders Ajax Cape Town in January when the forward was sold to Chippa United
“Well, u Coach Mike is better placed to respond to that question because he was the one doing that deal, and he was the chairperson during that time. So he is better placed to explain to you.
“It was a chairman’s discussion between uSiviwe (Mpengesi) and uMike, you know. So I was not privy to that decision but I know factually that a clearance was issued for Ruzaigh from Steenberg to Chippa United,” concluded the club manager.
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By Shane Matsoyane