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Head coach dumps Bloemfontein Celtic for another top-flight side

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Staff Reporter

Bloemfontein Celtic head coach Lehlohonolo Seema has parted ways with the Free State football club to join another top-flight side.

The 40-year-old former Lesotho captain is now in charge of Chippa United.

Both clubs have confirmed the development.

“We would like to confirm the resignation of Lehlohonolo Seema as head coach of the club,” Celtic announced this Monday in a statement.

Seema, who also captain Celtic and Orlando Pirates during his days as a player, first joined the Phunya Selesele technical staff as an assistant coach in October 2013 before he worked as the team’s academy coach.

After serving as caretaker manager on two occasions, Seema was then confirmed as Celtic head coach in July 2019.

“. . . he added more value to the club and was a great asset,” Celtic said.

“We wish him all the best on his career going forward and future endeavours.”

Chippa United also released their own statement confirming the appointment of Seema as the club’s new head coach on a three-year deal.

“Chippa United FC hereby confirms that the team has with immediate effect appointed Lehlohonolo Simon Seema as its head coach on a three-year contract,” read the statement.

“Coach Seema joins the Chilli Boys from Bloemfontein Celtic, where he put in notable performances and his abilities as a coach at the highest level were evident.

“Chairman of the club, Mr Siviwe Mpengesi, expressed his support for Coach Seema and expressed his confidence in a winning combination between the coach and the ambitions of Chippa United FC during his tenure.”

The Port Elizabeth-based club parted ways with Rhulani Mokwena last month following the expiry of his loan deal from Pirates.

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End of an era: Bloemfontein Celtic is no more

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The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has finalised the transfer of business between Bloemfontein Celtic and the KwaZulu-Natal based Royal AM.

A circular issued by the PSL on Tuesday and addressed to the chairpersons and chief executive officers of all member clubs says the football body has approved the transfer of business and advises of the team’s name change and relocation.

“The club previously known as Bloemfontein Celtic will participate in the DSTV Premiership as Royal AM this season, with its home venue at Chatsworth Stadium,” reads part of the circular.

The sale will bring to an end the team’s colourful 52 years of existence after it was founded by Norman Mathobisa and Victor Mahatane in 1969.

Celtic has been dogged by financial troubles over the past few years with players failing to get their salaries on time on several occasions.

This is said to have forced club owner Max Tshabalala to hand over the team to Durban businesswoman and socialite Shawn Mkhize for R50 million.

Mkhize owns First Division side Royal AM and wanted to elevate her profile in the male-dominated field by buying Celtic’s premiership status.

She has since sold her team to pursue her dream of owning a soccer team in the top-flight league, the PSL confirmed.

“The club previously known as Royal AM will participate in GladAfrica Champioship as Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila, with its home venue at Thohoyandou Stadium,” the circular explained.

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Bloem Celtic believed sold

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Unconfirmed reports say the financially troubled Bloemfontein Celtic have sold their Premier Soccer League (PSL) status to Durban businesswoman and socialite Shawn Mkhize for R50 million.

The PSL executive committee is said to have okayed the deal when it met on Friday.

Not much detail is known about the sale of the only DSTV Premiership side in the Free State as all parties involved in the deal have not divulged any information.

Celtic have been dogged by financial troubles over the past few seasons amid rumours that club owner Max Tshabalala was ready to let go of the team.

All that’s left, according to media reports, is for Mkhize – who owns National First Division outfit Royal AM – to pay the R50 million in order to finalise the deal.

It’s believed the move would see Bloemfontein Celtic relocating to KwaZulu-Natal Province and assume a new name.

The team was founded by Norman Mathobisa and Victor Mahatane in 1969.

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Hugo Broos named as new Bafana Bafana coach

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Belgian Hugo Broos has been named the new coach of Bafana Bafana‚ the South African Football Association (SAFA) announced on Wednesday.

Broos, 69, arrives with an impressive CV‚ most notably having won league titles in Belgium with Club Brugge twice and once with Anderlecht‚ and led Cameroon to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations title.

The announcement was made at the SABC’s Radio Park in Auckland Park.

Broos’ name is believed to have been one of five that SAFA’s technical committee confirmed as their shortlist to an NEC meeting on April 24.

That list‚ sources have said‚ consisted of Portuguese ex-Bafana and Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz‚ AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy‚ Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane‚ Kaizer Chiefs boss Gavin Hunt and either Broos or Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard.

SAFA‚ sources had revealed‚ approached both Queiroz and McCarthy in recent weeks‚ but the association was unable to meet demands from both regarding the fellow technical staff they wanted the association to appoint.

Broos replaces Molefi Ntseki‚ who was released from his contract as Bafana head coach on March 31‚ after the national team’s failure to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

A 1970s and 1980s defender who earned 24 caps for Belgium‚ Broos’ playing career was spent mostly at RSC Anderlecht (350 appearances) and Club Brugge (161).

He began his coaching career at RWD Molenbeek in 1988‚ and from 1991 to 1997 at Club Brugge won league titles in 1991-92 and 1995-96‚ the Belgian Cup in 1994-95 and 1995-96‚ and Belgian Supercup in 1991‚ 1992‚ 1994 and 1996.

Coaching Anderlecht from 2003 to 2005 he won the 2003-04 league title.

He coached the late former Bafana right-back Anele Ngcongca at KRC Genk in 2008.

Since then his career has taken him to Panserraikos in Greece‚ Trabzonspor in Turkey‚ Al Jazira in United Arab Emirates‚ JS Kabylie and NA Hussein Dey in Algeria‚ and then Cameroon from 2016 to 2017.

Most recently he was sports director, then caretaker-manager of Oostende‚ where Mamelodi Sundowns star Andile Jali played until 2018‚ in Belgium between 2018 and 2019.

Broos was sacked as coach of the Indomitable Lions by the Cameroonian Football Federation in December 2017‚ 10 months after he led them to their fifth Africa Cup of Nations title in Gabon that year‚ reportedly over pay issues.

Cameroon beat Egypt 2-1 in the Nations Cup final on February 5 2017.

They had progressed through the group stage with a win and two draws‚ then beat Senegal on penalties in the quarterfinals‚ and Ghana 2-0 in the semis.

Having coached in North and West Africa on the continent‚ Broos will have an adjustment to make to a different playing style and mental approach in South Africa.

He also must undergo a quick crash course on SA football and the players he has available as Bafana’s 2022 Qatar World Cup group stage qualification campaign begins with the match against Zimbabwe in Harare on the weekend of June 5 to 6. – Times Live

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