AmaTuks have been in preseason training since late June ahead of the 2015/16 season that kicks off in the second weekend of August. Last season was rather disappointing for AmaTuks as they only managed to finish 11th in the Absa Premiership, losing the opportunity to take part in the MTN 8.
In the previous season AmaTuks struggled when playing away from home, and if it was not for their inspired form at the Tuks Stadium on LC de Villiers campus earlier this year, the side’s top flight status could have been in jeopardy.
Unfortunately, AmaTuks has struggled yet again to keep their star performers at the club, a problem which seems to plague the side come every transfer window. Geoffrey Massa has been sold to Bloemfontein Celtic while Siyabonga Ngubane and Mpho Matsi have made the move to Mpumalanga Black Aces.
It’s not all bad news, though. AmaTuks were boosted early on in the post-season when it was announced that experienced centre-back Tebogo Monyai had signed a one-year contract extension with the club after it had seemed that he was on the brink of retirement. Monyai played an important role in Tuks’ survival last season and might still have a vital role to play at the club.
UP’s squad has also been bolstered by the signing of 21-year-old Harry Edge from Dutch club PEC Zwolle. The midfielder caught the eye of the coaches during AmaTuks’ tour of the Netherlands. He is likely to play in a central midfield position and should add to the sides’ attacking ability.
Tuks signed Polokwane City defensive partners Kabelo Lichaba and Vukile Mngqibisa, and head coach Sammy Troughton said on the club’s official website that they have been interested in the 29-year-old Lichaba for the past few years and he hopes that the signing will solve the issues they had at left-back last season. Troughton also added that he had signed Lichaba for free on a precontractual agreement in January.
AmaTuks were joined in training by former Bafana Bafana striker Katlego Mphela. The player did not, however, train at the club for a long period of time, but any knowledge passed onto youngsters from such an experienced player can go a long way. It has not been announced who will fill the gap left by frontman Massa.
Namibian-based Ghanaian player Alhassan Kalusha was on trial at AmaTuks in late June after being recommended to coach Troughton. The youngster has been labelled a “playmaker” and can play as an attacking midfielder or a striker, but it has not yet been announced whether UP will sign the 21-year-old.
The 2015/16 season is set to be a tough one for AmaTuks as they aspire to keep their position in the Absa Premiership. The season’s opening fixture takes place on 8 August as AmaTuks face newly promoted Golden Arrows away from home.