Spanish coach, Alejandro Dorado has resigned from his role as Black Leopards head coach, LimSportsZone has learnt.

Leopards and Dorado parted ways just after only three matches into the 2023/2024 Motsepe Foundation Championship campaign. Dorado leaves the club after joining the PSL side at the beginning of the season.

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This comes after Lidoda Duvha slumped to a 2-0 defeat to the league’s newbies, Orbit College. This was in front of a huge number of their spectators at Giant Stadium on Sunday.

Overall, the Spanish coach has lost two matches and drawn one game with the Limpopo team.

Leopards are now in position 15 in the National First Division table, just a point ahead of struggling Milford FC, who bought the status of Uthongathi this season.

BLACK LEOPARDS ASSISTANT PETER MPONDA TAKES OVER FROM COACH ALEJANDRO DORADO

LimSportsZone understands that assistant coach Peter Mponda has already taken over as he was in charge of the Monday training session.

Mponda, who spent seven years with Lidoda Duvha during his playing career, had joined the club as an assistant coach to Dorado at the beginning of the season.

The Malawian international coach and Leopards are preparing for their fourth match. It will be the Limpopo derby against Magesi FC next Saturday at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.

By Clifton Mabasa

Motsepe Foundation Championship side Venda FC have roped in veteran PSL coach Johnny Ferreira into their technical team as director. Ferreira joins the club as a technical director while they have also retained head coach Joel Masutha.

ALSO READ: Chief Thidiela in angry exchange with Black Leopards fans

Masutha is in his second season as coach at the club after joining from Black Leopards last season. Venda FC have had a slow start to the season after collecting just two out of a possible nine points.

Johnny Ferreira joins Venda FC as technical director
Venda FC training ground

VENDA FC APPOINT JOHNNY FERREIRA AS TECHNICAL DIRECTOR

They have drawn two home matches and lost one away to Upington City. Meanwhile, the well-traveled Ferreira was at the club’s training ground in Louis Trichardt on Monday. The club has not officially confirmed the latest changes but sources have confirmed that the changes have taken place.

Black Leopards chairman Tshifhiwa “Chief” Thidiela was involved in an angry confrontation with the club’s fans following their defeat to Orbit College.

Lidoda Duvha slumped to a 2-0 defeat to the Motsepe Foundation Championship newbies, Orbit College, in front of a huge number of their spectators at Giant Stadium.

The loss kept the Limpopo side in second spot from the bottom of the table, just a point ahead of struggling Milford FC, who sit 16th.

BLACK LEOPARDS FANS LOSE PATIENCE IN ALEJANDRO DORADO

Coach Alejandro Dorado joined the PSL club at the beginning of the season and has lost two and drawn one match out of three games so far.

And unfortunately, with results not fourth-coming, following his side’s latest painful loss at Giant Stadium, supporters have started to lose patience.

Plenty of angry fans confronted Thidiela after the match and shouted at him, saying they wanted the coach to start delivering positive results.

One of the fans, according to this publication’s insider at the stadium, said:
“We are tired of these results, we want changes. We spent a lot to come to support this team,” provoking a furious reaction.

CHIEF THIDIELA DISH-OUT HARSH WORDS TOWARDS SUPPORTERS

As a result, a very frustrated Thidiela had to condemn the supporters’ conduct hastily. According to one supporter who asked to remain anonymous, Thidiela made harsh remarks directed at Leopards’ fans.

“I spent a lot of money on this team, I also feel the pain of losing,” Thidiela said.

“I spend a lot from my pocket, so you (supporters) cannot say anything because I spend more than anyone.”

Leopards, who were relegated from the Motsepe Foundation Championship last season, brought their way back to the league after purchasing the status of All Stars.

The Spanish coach, Dorado, and his troops will have to revise their mistakes going to the fourth match against Magesi in the Limpopo derby next Saturday at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.

By Clifton Mabasa

After his first official match in South Africa, Black Leopards head coach Alejandro Dorado has pointed out the differences between African and European players.

Dorado’s Leopards played out to a goalless draw against Pretoria Callies in their league opener at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT Stadium) on Friday afternoon.

The Spanish mentor was appointed as Leopards coach after the club bought the Motsepe Foundation Championship status of All-Stars following their relegation last season.

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Before coming to South Africa to take charge of Lidoda Duvha, Dorado was formerly with Real Madrid youth team as their coach. He also had an assistant coach stint in Canadian club, HFX Wanderers.

Despite being happy with his side’s performance against Callies, the 38-year-old tactician said South African players need to apply composure in the final third.

“It’s the same in most parts of the world, the differences are the players. Players are always different everywhere, in China, in Spain, Finland or Canada,” Dorado told LimSportsZone.

WHAT BLACK LEOPARDS COACH ALEJANDRO DORADO MAKE OF SA PLAYERS 

“But, African, more especially South African Players are skillful. They have the strength to make things happen. But I think they need to calm themselves in the last part of the pitch.

“Because as South African Players, if they can understand this thing of being calm and pass the ball calmly, everything will be fine when they are in the final third.

“I saw Bonginkosi (Makanya), Thabang (Mabena), Vincent (Mashego) and others wanting to play it forward, this is the big difference I am seeing. So they need to calm down, pass, pass and the rest will follow.”

The Spanish coach with his troops will face Casric Stars at Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday, 02 September. 

By Clifton Mabasa 

Motsepe Foundation Championship side Black Leopards have surprisingly parted ways with star striker Tiklas Thutlwa with immediate effect.

Leopards were recently relegated from the Motsepe Foundation Championship with two games to spare. Their relegation comes after years of flirting with danger at the national first division.

BLACK LEOPARDS AND TIKLAS THUTLWA PART WAYS

The exodus of players exit was to be expected but the sudden departure of Thutlwa early comes as a huge surprise. The 23-year-old has been rumoured to be on the wanted list of many clubs including Kaizer Chiefs.

DStv Premiership sides such as Sekhukhune United and Marumo Gallants are believed to have made formal offers for the player.

It will now be interesting to see where Thutlwa ends up as he is now eligible to sign with a team of his choice for next season.

Also read: Date set for Limpopo ABC Motsepe playoffs

Black Leopards part ways with star player Tiklas Thutlwa
Black Leopards owner David Thidiela

The club has also parted ways with former Orlando Pirates development side defender Kenneth Nthatheni. Nthatheni was the club’s captain under coach Owen Da Gama.

Da Gama was also relieved of his duties earlier this week. There are more exits expected at the club before they wrap up the season.

Veteran goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane is also rumoured to be on his way out.

Morgan Shivambu will be in charge until the end of the current season. The club has also been speculated at looking to purchase status for next season.

So far, All Stars are the only club that has made their intentions of selling clear. Boardroom battles in the league can also not be ruled out given the recent events at the end of the season in the NFD.

It remains to be seen how the two matches for Leopards will pan out given the fact that they have nothing to play for.

Well-travelled coach Owen Da Gama has officially part ways with Limpopo Motsepe Foundation Championship side Black Leopards.

LimSportsZone has learnt that Da Gama was shown the door following the clubs’ relegation to the SAFA ABC Motsepe League. Leopards were relegated this past weekend after 24 years of plying their trade in the PSL set-up.

Lidoda Duvha were relegated alongside their fellow Limpopo side Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM). TTM had already moved to Mangaung after a fallout with the Thulamela Municipality. This was due to the exorbitant fees an NFD side has to pay to host matches at the venue.

It currently costs around R 45 000 to host a match at the Thohoyandou Stadium.

Also read: Black Leopards and Ntshangase officially part ways

Meanwhile, Owen Da Gama leaves Leopards after his attempts to save the club from relegation were unsuccessful.

He took charge of the club in February this year following the departure of Johnny Ferreira. The club has had over four coaches this season from Joel Masutha, Rodwell Dhlakama, Ferreira and Da Gama.

Limpopo side Black Leopards and Owen Da Gama part ways
Black Leopards owner David Thidiela leaves the Stadium after his team got relegated

This publication has also been made to understand that there will be a clear-out of players before the last two matches of the season.

PLAYERS EXCODUS EXPECTED AT LIMPOPO CLUB

Players such as Tiklas Thutlwa, Jackson Mabokgwane and Kenneth Nethatheni could soon find themselves without a team. A little birdy has informed this publication that the management has not been impressed with their performances.

Although the club has now been relegated, they will need to play two of their remaining matches of the season. This includes a match against their former coach Joel Masutha who is at Venda Football Academy. Leopards will also play against All Stars. Ironically, All Stars are in their last season in the Motsepe Foundation Championship.

This is after the club announced their intentions to sell their status.

By Khotso Ramalwatsa

Motsepe Foundation Championship side Black Leopards have officially parted ways with midfielder Siphelele Ntshangase. Ntshangase rejoined Leopards in January after a long layoff without a club.

He featured seven times during his second stint at the PSL club before he was shown the door.

WHAT LED TO SIPHELELE NTSHANGASE AXING?

LimSportsZone has also gathered that the club got fed up with the players’ wayward behaviour. According to an informant, the player was struggling with issues with alcohol which was the major contributor to the decision.

Black Leopards and Siphelele Ntshangase officially part ways
Siphelele Ntshangase has left Black Leopards

BLACK LEOPARDS PART WAYS WITH STASH

His contract was terminated this past Tuesday with immediate effect and is now without a club. Both the club and Ntshangase were not immediatoley available for a comment.

RELEGATION BATTLE AHEAD

Meanwhile, Leopards will return to action this weekend to try and save their PSL Status. They will travel to Mangaung to face Hungry Lions at Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium.

The move was moved to the Free State due to a lack of venue in Kimberly where Hungry Lions are based. A win for Leopards will also come a long way in giving them more hope of survival.

They are currently second from bottom in the Motsepe Foundation Championship with four matches to go.

While many South African football fanatics described him as the most underrated player, the former SuperSport United midfielder Jabulani Maluleke has admitted that he was indeed overlooked during his playing times.

Maluleke has been around a lot of talent in his time as a footballer, he has seen all kinds of players flourish. And while many of the talents he played alongside got their flowers, Maluleke could not be part of them.

The 41-year-old ex-footballer has played for Black Leopards, Polokwane City, and Sekhukhune United, just to name a few. Before he decided to hang up his boots at Venda Football Academy in July 2022. He has won the 2009/10 Absa Premiership and Nedbank Cup with Matsatsantsa.

JABULANI MALULEKE ADDIMITS HE WAS UNDERRATED 

Mavotja, as Maluleke is affectionately known, thinks he is one of those all-time greats who are often overlooked for their contribution to the league despite their great talents.

In an exclusive interview with PrimeSportsWithMahlatse, the free-kick taker specialist said he thinks he was undervalued according to what he had displayed on the field of play.

“I was underrated, that’s a sad part I had to deal with (in my football career),” Maluleke told PrimeSportsWithMahlatse.

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“I was underrated because I had to prove my talent to people. Show it on the field of play (that I can play, and I have a talent).

“But I did my part, I gave my all, I have showcased my talent and enjoyed my football career. But it is South African football, we have to live with it, it is what it is.

Maluleke is now enjoying his coaching job at SuperSport United as a set-piece coach for the senior team. He is also coaching under-19 side

By Clifton Mabasa 

The Motsepe Foundation Championship relegation clash between Black Leopards and TTM at Thohoyandou Stadium is more than just a league match.

SUNDAY CLASH A MOTSEPE FOUNDATION CHAMPIONSHIP RELEGATION DECIDER?

Both clubs are languishing at the bottom of the log with five matches to go. Leopards are on 18 points while TTM are on 20 with the closest teams they can catch (Platinum City Rovers and La Masia) at 27 points each. There are 15 points left to play for.

Also read: Johnny Ferreira quits Leopards to return to TTM

Leopards, formed in 1983 have been participating in the PSL since 2000/01. They have been relegated three times to the lower divisions. But never have they faced relegation to the SAFA amateur leagues.

The match on Sunday is critically important as it could signal the beginning of the end of the club and David Thidiela in the professional ranks. Thidiela is also a member of the PSL executive committee.

Motsepe Foundation Championship relegation clash between Black Leopards and TTM
Black Leopards coach Owen Da Gama

Also read: OPINION: I fear for the worst for Black Leopards

TTM on the other hand made an entry into the professional setup in 2018. This is after they bought the status of Milano United. There has been instability in the club which was initially sold to Sekhukhune United in 2020. They returned to the PSL setup after acquiring the status of Royal AM.

The club has now moved base to Mangaung where they play their home matches at Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium.

Whatever happens after the match on Sunday afternoon one of the two clubs will certainly be preparing for life away from the PSL set up. Whether it’s one of the most supported clubs in the country in Leopards or it will be now Free State based TTM remains to be seen.

Kick-off for the match is 15:00. 

By Khotso Ramalatswa 

Black Leopards coach Owen Da Gama bemoaned his side’s wasteful finishing in front of goal as they lost 1-0 to Baroka in the Limpopo derby on Sunday at the Global Stadium.

According to the coach, the relegation-threatened team looked set to better their position on the Motsepe Foundation Championship table. But unfortunately, his players were unlucky to capitalize on their clear chances on the day.

Leopards squandered a host of glorious opportunities that could have won the derby and eventually, Bakgakga netted an only match goal, thanks to Sydney Malivha’s second half strike.

OWEN DA GAMA UNHAPPY WITH WASTEFUL FINISHING

The well-traveled coach was a bit of a disappointed man with his side’s profligacy and he lamented those missed chances that could have probably made a huge difference.

“They (players) have got to understand the created chances which is important, if we could have taken one or two of those chances, we would be speaking a different language now,” Da Gama told journalists.

Owen Da Gama laments Leopards' wasteful finishing
Black Leopards against Baroka in a Motsepe Foundation Championship

“We played well against Casric Stars, we played well against Magesi. It’s getting better, but we couldn’t use our chances. But I think they have to take every game as a cup final from now on, every game is a cup final.

“The technical team is doing its best to get the best out of the players. The players are fighting, they are working very hard, but if you are unlucky with your chances, then it’s difficult.”

BLACK LEOPARDS WILL KEEP FIGHTING

The former Orlando Pirates coach has issued a stirring rallying cry as the season approaches its ending mark, insisting Lidoda Duvha will fight until the last day to stay in the Motsepe Foundation Championship.

“The games are getting fewer now, there are only 15 points to play at this moment and there is no one easy game in the NFD, it’s not easy,” Da Gama added.

“But we’ll keep on fighting, it’s encouraging when you create chances. It’s rather unfortunate for us, but we will keep on fighting as long as we can understand our limitations and strength. That’s very, very important.

“We have to keep soldiering on, It’s not over until it’s over, as simple as that, as long as players can show character.”

Leopards are at the bottom of the log with 18 points, with only five games to go. Their next assessment is 15th placed Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila. It will be 15th versus 16th when the two sides show off at the Malamulele Stadium on Sunday, 09 April. 

By Caliton Mabasa