Orlando Pirates have started shedding some excess baggage with the release of long-time serving defender Lucas Thwala as well as placing six others on the transfer list.
|Lucas Thwala @ Backpagepix
The treble winners announced on Wednesday, through their official website that they "decided against exercising its option to renew the player’s contract and have subsequently spoken to Thwala this morning."
This effectively means Thwala, who was on loan to Platinum Stars last season, can join any club of his choice but the move will come as a surprise to many as the player had loyally served the Sea Robbers for years. The 31-year-old has, however, been hampered by injuries and this could be the reason behind the decision to let him go.
Thwala is a product of the club's youth development programme and had been a key part of the Pirates defence since making his debut in the 1-all draw against Jomo Cosmos in August 2004.
Following a fine season in the 2005/06 that saw him receive the club's ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’ award after helping Orlando Pirates finish as PSL runners-up twice in a row, the tough-as-nail left-back, finally stamped his authority in the Bucs starting line-up and his efforts were rewarded when his teammates chose him as their 'Player of the Season' at the end of the 2006/07.
Thwala's impressive performances also caught the attention of former Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who drafted him into the squad which defeated Chad 3-0. He subsequently went on to earn his second senior national team cap against Bolivia.
Meanwhile, Orlandopiratesfc.com confirmed on Thursday that six players have been placed on the transfer list following a technical team meeting earlier in the week.
The players on transfer are: Dikgang Mabalane, Lizo Mjempu, Talatou Boubacar, Njabulo Ntusi, Chiukepo Msowoya and Njabulo Manqana.
Additionally, Pirates have made available six players who will be released on loan to prospective suitors. The six are Hlabane Kutumela, Patrick Ngidi, Patrick Mashele, Benjamin Nthete, Aubrey Ngoma and Thabo Rakhale