Lindani Nkabinde, Mandisi Gadla and Thabiso Lebitso are the latest Varsity Football alumni to graduate to professional football.
The trio have all signed with Premier Soccer League clubs ahead of the resumption of the 2019-20 league season.
Nkabinde – the reigning Varsity Football Player of the Tournament – and Gadla have both signed for Baroka on long-term deals. This means that they will move up from the semi-professional third tier (where NWU play their league football) to the top tier.
Lebitso, meanwhile, has headed to Chippa United. This following a trial as part of the talent search programme run alongside the Nedbank Cup – the country’s national cup – which TUT qualified for last season.
All three will be registered to play during the mid-season January transfer window, when teams are allowed to sign new talent.
Nkabinde (25) and Gadla (24) have joined fellow Varsity Football alumnus Vusi Sibiya (TUT 2017-18) at the relegation-threatened Limpopo-based club. Another, Orebotse Mongae (NWU 2014-16), has just been released by ‘Bakgaga’.
As it happens, Lebitso (23), will also have a former Varsity Football alumnus for company at his new home in Port Elizabeth – namely Lonwabo Balfour who featured for Madibaz in the 2015 tournament.
The erstwhile Sports Management student will be expected to help ‘The Chilli Boys’ upgrade their current 10th place to the lucrative top eight by the end of this season.
By Carlo Jonkerman