Nine absentees as Kaizer Chiefs kick off pre-season

Nine Kaizer Chiefs players were absent as the team assembled on Monday morning to start preparations for the upcoming 2024/25 season.

Assistant coach Fernando Da Cruz and goalkeeper coach Ilyes Mzoughi, part of incoming head coach Nasreddine Nabi's staff, met the players for the first time on Monday. Nabi himself has yet to arrive in South Africa.

Da Cruz touched down in Johannesburg on Sunday morning before Mzoughi was welcomed in the afternoon on the same day.

The arrival of incoming head coach Nasreddine Nabi has been delayed because his current club, AS FAR, reached the Throne Cup final. 

Their opponents will be determined by the second semifinal match between Raja Casablanca and Mouloudia Oujda on Tuesday, June 25th. 

With no official date set for the final, Nabi's arrival at Kaizer Chiefs remains uncertain.

According to FARPost, Da Cruz and Mzoughi only met 28 players of the team with nine missing. 

NINE PLAYERS WHO WERE ABSENT ON CHIEFS' FIRST DAY OF PRE-SEASON

Keagan Dolly

Dolly’s future at Chiefs remains uncertain as his contract expires this week. Reports indicate that Chiefs offered him a new deal with a reduced salary due to recent injuries limiting his playing time.

While Dolly hasn't signed the contract yet, his options outside Naturena might be limited, potentially influencing him to stay.

Njabulo Ngcobo

While Chiefs haven’t officially confirmed that Ngcobo will be leaving, the reports suggest that he has signed with Sekhukhune United as his contract with Amakhosi runs out this month.

The 30-year-old, Ngcobo has been seen several times on social media training on his own as he gets ready for the new season.

Sifiso Hlanti

Hlanti's contract is also set to expire this week. He was reportedly among the players who met with the management last week to discuss their futures.

According to Afrik-Foot sources, Chiefs could offer the left-back another year as they still don’t have the left-back to replace him should he leave.

Siyethemba Sithebe

The 31-year-old midfielder Siyethemba Sithebe faces a similar situation to Hlanti, with his contract also expiring at the end of the month.

After returning from a long-term injury, Sithebe impressed towards the end of the season, potentially keeping his chances of staying at the club alive.

Jasond Gonzalez

Striker Jasond Gonzalez, who arrived on a one-year loan at the beginning of the season, could not be kept on a permanent deal after failing to make a significant impact at the club.

Edson Castillo 

Though not selected for Venezuela's Copa America squad, midfielder was absent from training on Monday. However, he is expected to rejoin the team soon.

Edmilson Dove

Mozambique defender, Dove is currently with his national team for the COSAFA Cup, which runs from 26 June to 7 July. He will join the team after the international duty.

TWO PLAYERS NURSING INJURIES

Meanwhile, Tebogo Potsane and George Matlou were also not part of the team as they are still nursing injuries.

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Nkosiyabuya Sithole

Nkosiyabuya Sithole, a young and rising sports journalist based in Durban, South Africa, harbors a deep passion for football. Nevertheless, he aspires to become a well-rounded journalist, adept in various areas of the field.

Nkosi's career began in 2020, working as a home-based writer during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has since written for various websites, including Briefly News, FiND-iT News, and The South African. Attending live sporting events is a particular pleasure for him, as they provide opportunities for interaction with sports personalities.

Outside of the office, he's a God-fearing and affable young man.