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MBABANE – Manzini Wanderers have learnt their lesson after losing some of their key players on allegations of failing to honour contractual obligations.

The maroon and white outfit have now tightened their contracts to prevent a repeat of the same scenario. The Manzini-based giants saw one of their star players, former attacking midfielder Neliswa ‘Tiger’ Dlamini leaving the club for Mbabane Swallows during the second transfer window period of the 2022/23 season.


Dlamini was declared a free agent by the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) Players Status Committee, after he claimed that Wanderers did not pay him his dues, which set a bad precedent for the club which was facing financial woes. Earlier, the club had also suffered a blow when former Swallows and Young Buffaloes left back, Vukile Khumalo, snubbed the team, allegedly on the same grounds of non-payment of his signing-on fee and salary. To avoid making the same mistakes, reports from inside the camp suggested that the club had improved its contracts to protect its interests.

“It will not happen the same way it did in the previous season, as the contracts were revised to safeguard the club. No matter how players would want to exit the club, there is a clause that gives the team full control over the player,” a well-placed source within the team said. The source also revealed that the team has fast-tracked the process of signing players ahead of the Bible Society Mayoral Charity Cup slated for August 5. The source said the team did not want to field players as guest players, as it wantedto take full ownership of them. Mbabane Highlanders, Moneni Pirates and Wanderers are eligible to field only three guest players during this one-day quartet preseason tournament.

When sought for comment on the issue, Wanderers Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mduduzi ‘Mr G’ Ginindza distanced himself from reports that they had done anything to prevent players from leaving any time before their contract expired. “No, there is no such thing and every player who has signed a contract with us has done so out of love for the team. We would not do such a thing which would also look like a threat to our players who are committed to re-igniting the brand,” Mr G said.


The PRO further said players remained a valuable asset in the team and it is always the team’s effort to improve their conditions. About 15 players were free agents at the end of last season, of which seven were put on transfer, while the rest have renewed their vows with the Manzini giants.
During last season, players signed employment service contracts as opposed to full employment contracts. Under the service contract, players can persuade their employers to give them incentives, other than the pay agreed on the contract, after winning some competitions.

“We would like to encourage our supporters to vote for us as the giant is awake. They will witness a revamped team in the upcoming season,” Ginindza concluded. Meanwhile, Wanderers Governor and top lawyer Bongani ‘Bhanyaza’ Mdluli could not be reached for comment at the time of compiling this report as his phone rang unanswered.