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Percy Tau: the new Brighton & Hove Albion attacker

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Percy Tau became one of South Africa’s most expensive exports when he penned a four-year deal with Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion after leaving Mamelodi Sundowns on Friday.

While he is popular among football fans in South Africa, very few people beyond the Rainbow Nation know who the 24-year-old really is.

Percy Tau was born on May 13, 1994, in a family of eight children in Witbank, Mpumalanga. His older brother, Dumisani, is also a footballer for National First Division (NFD) side Royal Eagles.

Percy lost his brother Mogau Tshehla, who was also a professional footballer for Polokwane City, in a tragic car accident in February 2018, but to his credit, the attacker continued to give his all for the Brazilians.

That’s a sign of a young player, who may be small in stature, but who has the heart of a lion.

His mother, Elizabeth, had to raise all his eight children, including Percy, all by herself 1998, and while she was initially against the idea of him playing football, a young Tau wouldn’t hear anything of it.

He would literally cry whenever his mom didn’t want him to go play football with his peers!

Tau made his professional debut for Sundowns four years ago under the tutelage of Pitso Mosimane after being promoted from the club’s youth structures.

The first two seasons in the PSL were very difficult for him, as he could only manage six league appearances for Sundowns.

This led to Mosimane loaning him out to NFD side Witbank Spurs for the second half of the 2015/16 season. The coach wanted Tau to grow and find himself in an environment he was familiar with – the Mpumalanga province.

The move did wonders for Tau’s confidence, and he was back with a bang six months later to claim his rightful place in Mosimane’s starting line-up at Downs.

Percy Tau made his international debut for Bafana Bafana against Angola in the African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifiers in 2015. He scored his first international goal in an international friendly against Guinea-Bissau in March 2017.

Initially, he was often overshadowed by the much-talked-about CBD of Leonardo Castro, Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly, but steadily his quality began to come to the fore within Mosimane’s selection.

The coach vowed to make Tau the best player in Africa soon after both Billiat and goalkeeper Denis Onyango scooped top awards at the 2017 Caf player awards ceremony, although even before that, he’d delivered glimpses of his class during Downs’ run to the 2016 Caf Champions League title.

Percy Tau went into the Fifa Club World Cup as one of Sundowns’ dangermen, and it was during that tournament the many people around the world began to recognise his talent and ability.

He’s got speed, skill and an eye for goal, and while he is naturally left-footed, he can also use his right without a problem.

Percy Tau is not the tallest of players (he stands at 1.75m), but he is strong aerially and often out-jumps his markers to score crucial goals.

He is a great asset to Brighton long term, and will be for whichever team he joins on loan during the 2018-19 season.
Goal.com

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Highlanders’ Apology for Fan Misconduct in Abandoned Dynamos Fixture

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Highlanders Football Club has issued a sincere apology to the Zimbabwean football community following the crowd skirmishes that occurred during the high-profile premiership fixture against their archrivals Dynamos. The incident happened just 33 minutes into the game at Barbourfields Stadium, where the Bulawayo club was trailing by two goals. Fans stormed the pitch, protesting against the referring decisions that were perceived to be unfavourable to their team.

The police were overwhelmed by the advancing football hooligans, forcing them to retreat. Some fans were injured during the skirmishes, and vehicles were damaged as the police fought running battles with fans outside the stadium.

In a statement released on Monday, the Highlanders Football Club condemned the unsporting behaviour of the fans who caused the abandonment of the match. The club executive stated that they would be heavily fined for the mayhem, and the points would be awarded to Dynamos on a 3-0 scoreline as per the norm with abandoned matches.

The statement read, “Highlanders Football Club is deeply saddened by the crowd trouble that led to the abandonment of our league match against Dynamos FC at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday. The club condemns the unsporting behaviour that negatively profiles Zimbabwean football as a brand. It is sad to witness such ugly scenes at a family sports event, especially at a time when the club, together with other stakeholders, is working tirelessly to bring fans back into the stadiums and convincing the corporate world that sport, in general, and football, in particular, is worth their support.”

Highlanders apologised to all its stakeholders, especially sponsors, partners, and innocent football-loving fans who were affected by the acts of a few selfish individuals who care less about the growth of their clubs and football in general. They also prayed for those who were injured and wished them a speedy recovery. The club also urged stakeholders to work together to find a lasting solution to hooliganism in football stadiums.

This is not the first time in two seasons that a match involving the two most followed clubs has been abandoned due to crowd trouble. Another fixture was abandoned in May last year when both sets of fans invaded the pitch. Highlanders celebrated an unorthodox celebration for a 93rd-minute finish by Washington Navaya that broke the deadlock, while Dynamos fans were protesting a referring decision over an incident leading to the goal.

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Zimbabwean youngster Jimiel Chikukwa has joined English National League side FC Halifax Town

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Zimbabwean youngster Jimiel Chikukwa has joined English National League side FC Halifax Town following his release by Championship side Watford.

The 20-year-old forward was unveiled by Halifax Town last week. ”We are pleased to announce that FC Halifax Town has signed Jimiel Chikukwa, who was recently released from Championship team Watford”. Chikukwa started his career in the Leeds United academy when he was only 13 years old. However, he decided to join Watford’s academy in the summer of 2021 when his contract with Leeds expired.

During his time with Watford, Chikukwa was loaned to Maidstone United in the National League South for the second half of the 2021/22 season. Although the Stones won the National League South, Chikukwa only made one league appearance before returning to Watford at the end of the season.

Town boss Chris Millington is optimistic about the future of new signing Jimiel Chikukwa.

Millington expressed, “He is a young and thrilling player who needs to demonstrate his abilities in senior games. However, he has shown tremendous potential, and we believe he will be an exceptional player for our team in the future.” Millington also mentioned that Chikukwa is versatile and can play in various positions, including anywhere in the front three and as an attacking wing-back.

We think he could pose a danger when playing as a number nine, but he could also be a threat when positioned on either wing. In our current formation, he might even excel as an attacking wing-back, similar to Angelo Cappello.

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Reims secures first win with Munetsi scoring his first goal

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Zimbabwe international Marshall Munetsi has expressed his delight after scoring his first goal of the season to inspire Stade de Reims to their first win of the season following a 2-0 victory against Clermont Foot in the second round of the French Ligue 1 on Sunday.

The 27-year-old midfielder was instrumental in ensuring Reims got its first win of the season after breaking the deadlock with a header in the 17th minute.

Denmark international Mohamed Daramy, a new signing from Ajax, added a second goal by converting a low cross from Junya Ito in the 84th.

Munetsi, who is flourishing in a more advanced role at Reims, had several opportunities to double his tally.

Probably his best chance of securing a brace came in the 76th minute when the Clermont goalkeeper Mory Diaw produced a double save to deny the Zimbabwe international what looked like a certain goal.

In the end, it was a successful day for Munetsi as he continued his solid start to the season by scoring a crucial goal to follow up on his contribution on the opening day of the season when he registered an assist during the 2-1 loss against Marseille in the first round of the season.

Afterwards, Munetsi took to social media to praise his teammates for putting on a solid display to register their first win of the campaign in their second match.

Great team performance @StadeDeReims to get our first win of the season at home. We keep going,” Munetsi said.

The former Orlando Pirates player is expected to play an important role for the Zimbabwe Warriors when they return to international football later this year in the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.

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