Chippa United have announced the signing of 17 new players ahead of the 2016/17 season as well as unveiling a new technical sponsor in Canterbury.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Metro-based outfit secured its highest ever Absa Premiership placing of seventh last season and coach, Dan Malesela, went on a strong recruitment drive during the off-season.
Amongst the new signings are Bafana Bafana striker Bongani Ndudula, signed from Kaizer Chiefs, and Menzi Masuku, who arrives from Orlando Pirates.
“We are pleased with the players we have signed ahead of the new season, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the chairman, Mr. Siviwe Mpengesi, and the rest of the management for their continued support,” said Malesela.
“I have had an opportunity to work with most of our new signings at various levels and have no doubt that they fit our style of play and will add value to the team.
“We have recruited a young and exciting bunch of players who are eager to make a name for themselves, and contribute to the team’s objective.
“We also managed to retain the core of the players we had last season despite interest from other teams. We are aware of the challenges ahead, and the expectations from our fans and partners after what was an impressive season for us.
“We know that we cannot rest on our laurels. We must continue to work harder to bring joy to our supporters nationwide. We cannot do this alone as the technical team, we need your support in order for us to take this brand to another level.”
Chairman Mpengesi added: “We are confident going into the new season, but have no illusions about the amount of work required to meet our objectives, among them to remain in the top eight and challenge for a trophy. We want to remain competitive and make both Nelson Mandela Stadium and Absa Stadium our fortresses.
“We have a solid management team, and a stable technical team for the first time in a while. I am confident that the people we have on board are highly professional people, who are passionate about this club. We want to continue growing as a football club and most importantly support the efforts of the head coach, Dan Malesela.”
Chippa will be captained by Andile Mbenyane this season, with Diamond Thopola as his deputy.
They depart on 24 July to Kwa-Zulu Natal for a two-week pre-season camp, followed by a week in Johannesburg as part of the preparation for the upcoming season. The club has arranged friendly matches in both KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Meanwhile, the club unveiled Canterbury as their new technical sponsor effective 1 July 2016. The agreement was fostered by leading brand development house – Brand ID – which focuses on igniting sustainable and long term momentum for brands in the South African and Sub Saharan African markets.
Canterbury is one of the most recognised international rugby brands, and has sponsorship agreements with England Rugby, Japan Rugby, USA Rugby, as well as the local Golden Lions rugby team. Canterbury delved into football sponsorship in the last soccer season, as apparel sponsor to then Mpumalanga Black Aces.
The full list of new signings are: Sherwin Bailey, Bulumko Ceki, Xolani Mdaki, Vusumzi Mncube, Sizwe Mdlinzo, Strydom Wambi, Paseka Maku, Phetolo Sekome, Tshwarelo Bereng, Siphesihle Stuurman, Bongani Ndudula, Kristopher Bergman, Zama Dlamini, Veli Mothwa, Menzi Masuku.