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EZULWINI – The season is over, which means transfers will be next in the off-season.

Which player goes where, who stays, which team wants them and what is on offer for the players? Well, as earlier reported by this publication after the Mbabane Derby a few weeks ago, Mbabane Highlanders are already making preparations for next season. At least that is as far as keeping their prized assets is concerned, as they are already engaging some of the stars whose contracts need renewal. “We were out to win the league and qualify for Champions League football but it didn’t happen. We made some recruitment mistakes here and there when we signed Aristo and a goalkeeper who gave us nothing.

“There will be outgoing transfers and incoming as we intend to be stronger than ever next season. We’ve already renewed some contracts and the process continues,” said the club’s Managing Director (MD) in South African businessman and politician, Chief Ally Kgomongwe, who also watched the season closing games at Mavuso Sports Centre. Highlanders beat Wanderers 3-0. “We have renewed Palma and Delisa’s contracts and now await Peter, who did not pitch for the team braai at the clubhouse,” Kgomongwe said.

He said most of their players who he was certain were still of value were covered as some got long-term contracts like their goalkeeper Khanyakwezwe Shabalala, Philani Mkhonto, Siyabonga Mkhonto, Vusi Vilakati, Lindani ‘Rio’ Matsenjwa, while experienced winger Bonginkosi ‘Manyovu’ Dlamini has another year left in his contract. Kgomongwe said he was adamant that one of their star defenders Peter Dlamini would also avail himself before the end of this week to put pen to paper, as he wanted it to be done while he was still in the country. “If he doesn’t, we’ll see but I’ve tasked management to bring him on board. Otherwise, we’ll get some of more quality in with Solly as the coach,” he said.

Kgomongwe said the contract details of veteran former Mbabane Swallows central defender Mandla Palma and fullback Delisa Gama were between them and the club. Kgomongwe further said he was happy with the powerful finish by his team after they scores six goals to nothing in the closing two matches. “First we outclassed Moneni Pirates 3-0 and won 3-0 again over Wanderers. It shows the quality we have and this is a sign that with a few more serious signings, we can go places. This team can play Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates competitively; I have no fears and I intend for such strong pre-season matches again,” he added.

Palma excitedly confirmed his contract renewal to a year, making him available for next season in Coach Solly Luvhengo’s squad. It is yet to be confirmed which players will get the axe while for incoming, speculation is rife that Highlanders could invade Wanderers for their former midfielder Sibonginkosi ‘Gudas’ Dlamini, who was a revelation for the hub giants.