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SA SOCCER NEWS

Jet announce January Rookie nominees


Orlando Pirates could have a second player in the running for the Jet Club PSL Rookie of the Year Award later in the year - that is if their number one goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa, wins the January 2008 Jet Club PSL Rookie of the Month Award.

But Senza (pictured below) is up against stiff opposition with four other star players also in the running.

The four other players that are vying for this award, which goes along with a R5,000 incentive, include Platinum Stars' youngest striker, Bradley Grobler, defender Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport United) and two midfielders, Sandile Zuke (Kaizer Chiefs) and Prince Olumu (Free State Stars).

SENZO MEYIWA (jcrd4):
There is no doubt that the arrival of head coach, Owen 'Rubber-Doll' da Gama, to Pirates' technical team was a blessing for this young star, who at one stage was ranked as the club's number three choice, and also second best choice in the national Under-23 team.

Since making his professional debut on October 19 last year during Pirates' 3-0 ABSA Premiers League victory over Bloemfontein Celtic, the 20-year-old goal-minder, who apart from the national U-23 team has also featured in the national Under-17 and U20 teams, has been outstanding, completely stealing the limelight from the favourite, Francis Chansa.

Should the Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal-born goalie win this month's Jet Club PSL Rookie Award, Meyiwa - who was promoted from Pirates' development side at the beginning of this season - will join his former national U23 competitor and Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune, in the race for the Jet Club PSL Rookie of the Year Award, which will see the winner taking home R50,000.

SANDILE ZUKE (jcrd5):
Nurtured in Chiefs' development programme, which he joined in 2002, the Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal-born lad (Meyiwa's home boy) is undoubtedly a star in the making.

With head coach Muhsin 'Mshini' Ertugral having shown his belief in the club's young players, Zuke is guaranteed game time which can serve as an advantage to climb the stardom ladder, whilst at the same time establishing himself on a bigger stage of Chiefs' calibre. His nomination in the Jet Club PSL Rookie of the Month project is just the beginning of great things to come as far as his football career is concerned.

Since making his professional debut on August 15, when Chiefs emerged 2-0 victors over then Benoni Premier United (now Thanda Royal Zulu) in the league opener where he played for 45 minutes, Zuke - who was promoted from the club's development team at the beginning of the season - has been given fair game time by Ertugral after playing five games. Given the fact that there is a lot of competition in the club's midfield where he has to fight for a position in the starting line-up with experienced players, one can say so far so good for the 20-year-old star.

The country can expect great things still to come out of this promising youngster.

BRADLEY GROBLER (jcrd1):
Father, Les Grobler, used to mesmerise defenders in his heydays as a Moroka Swallows aggressive striker. The emerging Platinum Stars goal-getter is still to prove whether he will follow in his father's foot-steps as a striker.

Although he still needs a good mentor to improve his game, Bradley, who celebrates his 20th year on 25 January, is a promising youngster who will go far should he take his football career seriously.

The media-shy star was promoted from Stars' reserve team this season, and he has played seven games, six league and one Cup match, and has since scored one goal, this during Stars' 3-1 defeat by Free State Stars in a league game.

BONGANI KHUMALO (jcrd2):
Originally born in Manzini, Swaziland but moved to South Africa with his parents when he was just two years, the SuperSport defender has proven to be one of the country's emerging stars.

Khumalo - who made his professional debut with United in September, during 'Matsatsantsa A Pitori's goalless draw in a league game - has clicked well in Gavin Hunt's structures and his combination with the likes of Ricardo Katza and Siboniso Gaxa in the club's defending department has worked well.

The former Acardia Shepherd (Vodacom League) and Jet AmaTuks (National First Division) defender, who turned 21 on January 6, has so far played 12 matches, ten in the League and two Cup games since he joined the club at the beginning of the 2007/08 season and it was not surprising to see him nominated in the Jet Club PSL Rookie of the Month campaign.

PRINCE OLUMU (jcrd3):
The Free State Stars' midfielder is not a novice to professional football as it might be suggested, having played for the continent's best side, Enyimba, in Nigeria.

Born in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Olumu is fast making an impact in South African football.

Olumu is enjoying what has been a difficult thing to most of the South African players, scoring goals. His latest scoring achievement was when he netted a hat-trick when Stars beat Platinum Stars 3-0.

It will not come as a surprise to see the Nigeria-born midfielder lifting the Jet Club PSL Rookie of the Month right under the nose of his opponents.

VOTE LINES:

To register votes the public can either phone the COMPETITION LINE: 082 234 2585 or SMS the player's number to 34379.

The numbers are as follows:
(jcrd1) Bradley Grobler - Platinum Stars
(jcrd2) Bongani Khumalo - SuperSport United
(jcrd3) Prince Olumu - Free State Stars
(jcrd4) Senzo Meyiwa - Orlando Pirates
(jcrd5) Sandile Zuke - Kaizer Chiefs

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For more information please visit
www.vw.co.za

February 13
Absa Premiership:
Swallows v Pirates
KO: 7.30pm
Venue: Germiston Stadium

February 20
Absa Premiership:
Swallows v Santos
KO: 7.30pm
Venue: Germiston Stadium

December 21
Absa Premiership:
Lost 0-1 v Wits
Venue: BidVest Stadium

December 16
Absa Premiership:
Won 3-2 v AmaZulu
Venue: Germiston Stadium

December 12
Absa Premiership:
Won 2-0 v FS Stars
Venue: Goble Park

December 9
Absa Premiership:
Won 6-2 P Stars
Venue: Germiston Stadium

POLL
What did you think of Swallows' performance against Platinum Stars?

The guys were marvellous!
 15%
Very good indeed
 4%
We need more peformances like this one
 81%