Abraw, Baloyi headline Chiefs exodus

Doctor Khumalo, Bobby Motaung and Steve Komphela

Camaldine Abraw and Lucky Baloyi were named among the seven players that have been released by Kaizer Chiefs ahead of the 2017-18 Premiership season.

The news followed the announcement that Patrick Mabedi will join Steve Komphela’s technical team for the new season, following John Paintsil’s axing.

Chiefs’ football manager, Bobby Motaung, released a statement on Tuesday confirming that Camaldine Abraw, Lucky Baloyi, Siyanda Xulu and Lewis Macha will leave the club by mutual consent, with their contracts coming to a premature end.

The major shock to the Chiefs’ fans will be the departure of Togolese forward Abraw, who spent the majority of last season on the physio’s table recovering from a knee jury, featuring 26 times while scoring six goals for Chiefs in all competitions, following his controversial exit from Bloemfontein Celtic.

Many considered Abraw to be the solution to Chiefs’ almost half-a-decade-long search for a proven goalscorer, but the club’s management has now taken the bold step of releasing him.

Another surprise name on the list is that of midfielder Lucky Baloyi. He initially joined the club in 2010 and featured 72 times for the Soweto giants. His exit will have sections of the Amakhosi faithful questioning the decision, especially after ‘Sheriff’, as the player is known, formed an integral part of Komphela’s first season at the helm.

Macha, a full Zambian international, will join the list of failed transfers as he leaves the club with no goals to his name and six matches played in all competitions.

The Glamour Boys have also decided to allow midfielder Enocent Mkhabela the opportunity to make his loan move to Platinum Stars permanent, after a successful stint at Dikwena. The 28-year-old has had much-needed game time at Stars, scoring two goals in ten appearances, one of which came against Chiefs in their 2-0 win against the Naturena-based outfit.

Despite not naming his new club, Zimbabwean forward Michelle Katsvairo will spend the season away from Chiefs, with the player unhappy over a lack of game-time since joining from Chicken Inn.

Another striker who failed to take his chances at the club, Siphelele Mthembu, will leave at the end of the month, having not made one appearance for Chiefs in their most recent campaign, in addition to the expiration of his contract.

“These players have contracts with the club, but they did not enjoy sufficient game-time during last season and we felt it would be in their best interests as well as ours for them to pursue their careers elsewhere,” Motaung said.

“We have decided to revamp the squad early, so that when we commence pre-season training we prepare ourselves adequately for the tough season ahead.’

“We owe it to our supporters to ensure that the events of the past two seasons are not repeated in the 2017-18 campaign.

“We will be making announcements in due course with regards to the new players that we will welcome into the Kaizer Chiefs family,'” he concluded.

Chiefs finished last season in fourth place, ten points behind the champions Bidvest Wits, making it two trophyless years under Komphela’s leadership.