As the league resumption draws near, Moroka Swallows has made a significant signing, bringing in Augustine Mahlonoko, a former Orlando Pirates midfielder.
In recent months, the Dube Birds have been in the spotlight due to their well-publicized issues stemming from a players’ strike over unpaid salaries. This unfortunate situation led to their inability to fulfill their DStv Premiership fixtures against Mamelodi Sundowns and Golden Arrows.
The Premier Soccer League (PSL) responded by imposing a hefty fine of R1 million, with R600,000 of it suspended for a 24-month period. In the aftermath, the club conducted a disciplinary hearing, resulting in the dismissal of several first-team players who participated in the strike. However, some of these players have now reconciled with the club.
Augustine Mahlonoko, a talented attacking midfielder, has officially joined Swallows. The 22-year-old recently underwent assessment alongside other trialists at the Soweto-based club. His offensive prowess is expected to bolster Swallows’ performance as they seek to recover from a seven-game winless streak, including the two walkovers awarded to Sundowns and Arrows.
Mahlonoko had been a free agent since December of last year when he departed the Motsepe Foundation Championship side, La Masia. His journey took him briefly to Casric Stars during their preparations for the second round in January. Eventually, he found his way to Swallows, where he continues to train.
In addition to Mahlonoko’s signing, Swallows has been evaluating former Cape Town City goalkeeper Mark Anderson, potentially strengthening their goalkeeping department. However, the verdict on Anderson remains uncertain.
Meanwhile, the fate of the club’s head coach, Steve Komphela, hangs in the balance. Komphela has not yet returned to training, leaving the team’s preparations in the capable hands of Musa Nyatama and Ditheko Mototo.
Swallows’ first fixture this year is scheduled against Polokwane City on Saturday, February 17, at the Dobsonville Stadium at 3:00 pm.