SA Quartet Arrive for Cosafa

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By Confidence Musariri

The Brave Warriors were yesterday boosted by the arrival of four of their South African-based players at their morning training session ahead of the Cosafa Senior Challenge Cup.

The quartet, led by comeback veteran Moroka Swallows defender George Hummel, included goalkeeper Abisai Shiningayamwe, slippery Lazarus Kaimbi and forward Costa Khaiseb.

They all immediately joined yesterday’s mid-morning training session, straight from the airport, where they were introduced to new coach Tom Saintfiet.

Hummel, who last played for the Brave Warriors in June 2007, had forced himself into early retirement after irreconcilable differences with the mother body, although the NFA argued that he was still active, “as long as he had not submitted an official letter of resignation”.

Goalkeeper Shiningayamwe was never an Arie Schans favourite ever since the team’s return from the Nations Cup, but will now renew his bid to be the team’s safe hands, where Athiel Mbaha had established his roots.

Khaiseb was only discovered by former coach Arie Schans after a good showing in the South African first division, while Kaimbi has come up the ranks and roams in the South African first division.

The team’s training session yesterday was only dampened by a knee injury to Rambler’s forward Pineas Jacob who had to watch the proceedings from the sideline.

Jacob will be dropped from today’s final selection.

Cosafa has requested national squad lists by this afternoon. There were 23 players in yesterday’s afternoon’s training session.

Athiel Mbaha arrived late for the afternoon session from Walvis Bay where he had retreated after winning the league championship. Freedom Puriza also flew in late in the day from his South African base.

Germany-based unattached midfielder Oliver Risser is out of the team through injury as well. It does not promise to be a headache for the coaches as the injuries to Risser and Jacob will lessen their screening headaches. Only goalkeeping understudy Esau Tjiuoro will be dropped on a technicality, as only two goalkeepers can make the trip.

Captain Michael Pienaar who was denied leave by his paymasters Novel Ford on the eve of the World Cup game against Zimbabwe was a notable absentee from yesterday’s morning training session, although team manager Tim Isaacs said: “Pienaar was just sorting out a few things and would be with the team.”

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