Local News 18.8.2016 11:49 am

Could Mathoho’s injury hand Xulu another chance at Chiefs?

Eric Mathoho of Kaizer Chiefs. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Eric Mathoho of Kaizer Chiefs. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

They say one man’s misfortune is another man’s gain and while Eric Mathoho’s injury at Kaizer Chiefs is a massive blow for the Amakhosi defender and his team, it does seem to have opened another window of opportunity for one man cast aside by Chiefs just a few months ago.

At the end of May , Chiefs put Siyanda Xulu on the transfer list, after a season in which the defender made just five league appearances, despite signing for Amakhosi amid much fanfare at the start of the campaign.

It was strange that Xulu was not given more opportunities by Steve Komphela, in a season in which the side finished fifth in the Absa Premiership table, conceding an average of one goal a game.

The 24 year-old has, however, been involved in pre-season training with Chiefs, and the indications are that he could be given another chance to prove himself.

His chances have to have increased given the fact that Mathoho tore an ankle ligament on international duty at the Olympics and will be out of action for some time.

“He has done well in pre-season and is working hard, that is all I can say,” said Xulu’s agent Paul Mitchell on Thursday.

With that said, Komphela certainly has other options at centre back that he could use in Chiefs’ opening league match at Bidvest Wits on Tuesday. Lorenzo Gordinho impressed in a Chiefs shirt last season, while Daniel Cardoso is another option. And Chiefs also have ex-Sundowns captain Ramahlwe Mphahlele in their ranks, who can play as a centre back or at right back.

Xulu is similarly versatile, but the game against the Clever Boys should give us a real idea of whether he is really in Komphela’s plans this season.

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