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Akpeyi, Castro, Baccus, Akumu: More Kaizer Chiefs players follow Nurkovic and co out

14:57 SAST 2022/06/01
Daniel Akpeyi
More players continue to be released by the Soweto giants ahead of next season as coach Arthur Zwane continues to ring changes at the club

Kaizer Chiefs have announced the departures of goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, striker Leonardo Castro, midfielder Kearyn Baccus, Anthony Akumu and goalkeeper coach Lee Baxter.

The latest players follow Samir Nurkovic, Lazarous Kambole, Lebogang Manyama and Daniel Cardoso through the exit door, who have also been released by the club.

Nigeria international Akpeyi’s departure might come as a shock as Chiefs’ goalkeeping department was regarded as strong with Bruce Bvuma, Brandon Petersen and Itumeleng Khune offering competition.

“Goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi will also leave the club, with his contract set to expire on 30 June 2022,” Chiefs announced in a statement.

“The Nigeria international signed mid-season from Chippa United in 2018/19 and featured 69 times in 3.5 years for Amakhosi. Farewell and good luck.”

After it was also announced on Wednesday that Nurkovic, Kambole and Manyama are leaving the club, Castro is the fourth forward to be released.

“Colombian goal poacher Leonardo Castro is saying goodbye to Amakhosi after his great service to the club,” Chiefs confirmed.

“Since signing in 2018, the 33-year-old featured 122 times for Amakhosi and scored 27 goals over four seasons. Good luck.”

Castro joined Chiefs in a shock move from Mamelodi Sundowns in January 2018 and spent four-and-a-half seasons at Amakhosi.

He arrived at Naturena with a glowing profile having won the Caf Champions League title with Sundowns in 2016.

But he struggled to regain his scoring form from his Masandawana days and never reached double figures in a single term at Chiefs, with his season-best being seven league goals during the 2019/20 campaign.

Chiefs will also not be renewing the contract of midfielder Kearyn Baccus.

“Chiefs is scheduled to part ways with Kearyn Baccus at the end of June,” said the club.

“The SA-born midfielder grew up in Australia before returning home to play for Chiefs in June 2019. He appeared in 53 matches with two goals in his three seasons. Good luck.”

Baccus' agent Mike Makaab had already indicated he has received offers for the player in the PSL as well as in Asia.

Another midfielder Anthony Akumu has been transfer-listed and this comes after spending three seasons at Naturena.

"The club has put Kenyan defensive midfielder Anthony Akumu Agay on transfer," the club added.

"The club will listen to offers from other clubs for his services. Like Kambole, Agay also arrived at Chiefs from Zesco and netted twice in his 47 appearances."

The arrival of Cole Alexander and Phathutshedzo Nange at the start of the just-ended season made life difficult for Akumu who featured in nine league matches and started just two of those.

Chiefs have also parted ways with goalkeepers’ coach Lee Baxter who follows his father Stuart, after he sacked from his position as Chiefs head coach in April.

“The club and goalkeeper coach Lee Baxter are going their separate ways,” announced Chiefs.

“Lee arrived at Chiefs in February 2018 and worked with a number of head coaches and goalkeepers. Thank you and all the best Mr Baxter.”

More changes are expected at Naturena following the recent appointment of Zwane as Amakhosi head coach.