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Mabena: How Orlando Pirates-Mamelodi Sundowns transfer tug-of-war over Bafana Bafana youngster was resolved

19:26 GMT+3 07/12/2022
Siyabonga Mabena South Africa.
School of Excellence boss Mojalefa Mathebula has revealed how Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates' fight over Siyabonga Mabena was resolved.
  • Bucs and Masandawana eyed Mabena
  • Mabena has signed for Sundowns
  • Deal for teenager involved teammate

WHAT HAPPENED? The interest in the 15-year-old forward is said to have generated an intense fight between the Premier Soccer League sides.

According to Mathebula, Mabena has already signed for Masandawana, but his move had to be completed through a compromise deal that involved another player from the academy.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "It comes as no surprise then that there was a tug-of-war between Sundowns and Orlando Pirates for the youngster's services – so much so that a deal involving another product from the school, Relebohile Ratomo, had to be considered," Mathebula stated.

"It was a problem. The back story is that Sundowns saw him and there was a little bit of a fight [laughs] – I'm not to go [into details]. We had their big bosses coming here, and we had to intervene and say, ok, Relebohile [Ratomo] go to Pirates, and Mabena go to Sundowns."

WHAT IS MORE: Mathebula further talked about when and why top clubs developed an interest in the promising youngster.

"He's 15. There was a great debate, well something that I just said he must do, to say we are just wasting this boy's time at U15, we need to push him to under-19," added Mathebula.

"As a result, when we went to Engen [Knockout Challenge], he was called up to go with the U18s. He scored a couple of goals and played, I think, almost all the games there, so he's just a marvel, and that's why even the teams were fighting for him, because players like him are very hard to come by.

"The attributes [he possesses] are ones that people are trying to extract from our players and say, 'No, they are disrespectful, and it's not professional,' but this is us, and it's our best weapon, and we are not trying to use it effectively."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mabena is part of South Africa’s junior side taking part in the Cosafa Cup. He scored the goal that handed his side a 1-0 win against Mozambique.

The finalists of the tournament will qualify for the U17 Africa Cup of Nations, which will be held in Algeria in 2023.

WHAT NEXT FOR MABENA? Eyes will be keen to see whether the teenager will grow through the ranks at Sundowns and become a high-level striker for the PSL side.