2 years ago
Surprise Moriri plans to hang up his boots, but his NFD team Highlands Park, could do with his experience.  ~ 

HIGHLANDS Park will sit down with players and coaching staff in the next two weeks and decide which players will stay when the Tembisa based outfit begins life in the National First Division next season.

Highlands were relegated after the final round of Absa Premiership fixtures when they drew 2-2 with outgoing Absa Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns at Makhulong Stadium.

The Lions of the North are determined to keep their key players and return straight back to the top flight at the end of next season.

However, one player who is not expected to be part of the Highlands squad in the NFD next season is veteran midfielder Surprise Moriri.

Highlands co-chairman Brad Kaftel said some players, such as goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini, midfielders Mothobi Mvala and Peter Shulile, and some of their key players were still on contract.

Veteran former Kaizer Chiefs striker Collins Mbesuma (33) and Zimbabwe forward Charlton Mashumba will remain.

Said Kaftel: “At this stage I can’t say who else will stay and who will leave. The board will sit down within the next two weeks and decide.

“Our talented Namibian central defender Chris Katjiukua, we hope to keep him. However, we might have to renegotiate some of the players’ existing contracts now that we are an NFD club again.”

Kaftel said he had spoken to Moriri (now 37), who has won 35 caps for Bafana Bafana.

“He said he intends to retire,” explains the Highlands boss. “We respect that. But he is one of the players we would love to have for another season to help us get back to the PSL.

“I’ll speak to him again, but I’ll respect whatever his decision is.”

Kaftel indicated that while the club wanted to keep some of the senior players, they were set to offload a lot of the current squad.

Said Kaftel: “We are going to make an all out effort to keep players we believe can help us regain our place in the PSL.”

He said the future of the two co-coaches, Les Grobler and Thierry Mulonzo, would also be under review.

The duo have experience in the NFD and Kaftel said the board had been happy with their efforts when they took charge for the final four matches.

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