George "Road Block" Hummel, the solid Moroka Swallows defender, is going to be lost to the Dube Birds. The Namibian captain recently spent one week with Russian club Luch Energy in Vladivostok and impressed the club's technical staff enough to earn himself a one-year contract.
Luch Energy are an ambitious club who gained promotion to the top flight of Russian football after winning the Eastern Zone of the Second division in Russia last October.
The 27-year-old central defender explains how his move came about:
"I was in Turkey, were I played some games for the Vladivostok club, who were touring that country. They play in the first division in Russia and I was so impressed by the way they play their football," said Hummel, who lists Dutch international defender Jaap Stam as his idol.
Hummel will now be squaring up to his former Birds team-mate, Japhet Zwane, who plays in the same league for Rostov FC, as well as a host of other South African stars who ply their trade in the Eastern European country, such as Jacob Lekgetho, Matthew Booth, Bennet Mguni, MacBeth Sibaya, Rowen Hendricks and Tony Coyle.
"Road Block" said that Vladivostok are two steps ahead of Swallows in the way the club in organized, but still had praise for the way in which his time with the Birds had helped prepare him for bigger things.
"I have learnt a great deal at Swallows and when I went for the trials this enabled me to feel comfortable amoung the players and helped me to mix with them easily even though they are ahead of us over there."
The Russians were impressed by what they saw and they offered Hummel a one year contract, which he signed on condition that they agree to terms with Moroka Swallows.
"All I am waiting for is for Swallows and Vladivostok to sign my terms of movement and then I will be off to Russia. I think that Sunday may be my last game this year for the Birds," the former Hellenic hardman added.
Swallows travel to Pretoria for a tough test against a resurgent SuperSport United team as they look to continue their title chase - a race Hummel believes the Beautiful Birds can still win.
"Look at the team that is on top of the league (Ajax Cape Town) and Swallows - there are only eight points separating us from them. What we need to do is win the next five games and then we will be calling the shots from the top of the log."