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THREE of Ajax Cape Town’s hot new acquisitions are set to miss Friday night’s Premiership opener against SuperSport United because of paperwork issues.
Striker Bradley Grobler and exciting midfield talent Keagan Dolly are waiting for clearances from their former clubs. And, as a result, the Urban Warriors have been unable to register Grobler, who returned from Turkish outfit Gotzepe, and former Mamelodi Sundowns youngster Dolly with the PSL.
“We still have some paperwork to sort out. There have been a few problems getting Bradley’s clearance from the guys from Turkey, and we are working hard behind the scenes to get his clearance,” Ajax coach Maarten Stekelenburg told reporters yesterday.
“Keagan Dolly’s clearance from Sundowns is also taking longer than expected, but hopefully it will be sorted out before Friday’s match.”
While the problems with Gotzepe might just be a logistical issue, it seems the wealthy Sundowns have of a grudge against Ajax for luring the talented Dolly to the Mother City. The 19-year-old midfielder signed a pre-contract with the Urban Warriors while still on the books of the Brazilians.
Dolly, who hails from Westbury in Johannesburg, the same suburb as Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar, was the talk of the town after Ajax’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United for his sprightly performance that not only showcased his talent, but also provided evidence of a calm head on his young shoulders.
“Keegan was with Sundowns, but he has signed for us and has played in an international tournament for the club, and also featured against Man United,” Stekelenburg said.
“A lot of people were asking who he is after the United game. He has got a good technique and has a lot of creativity, and will add a lot to the team.”
Ajax are also rushing to complete the signing of Nigerian defender James Okwuosa, although he is unlikely to take the field on Friday night as the Department of Home Affairs has a knack of letting foreign football players wait an age for their work permits.
But if the deal is tied up, it will see Okwuosa’s compatriot, striker George Akpabio, go on loan somewhere else, as Ajax would have exhausted their foreign complement. “We spoke to George, that he might play a season somewhere else. It was difficult for us, because we signed him last year and we believe he can still offer a lot,” Stekelenburg said.
One foreigner who should have his affairs in order by Friday is Dutch midfielder Koen van der Laak. The FC Groningen captain joined Ajax a few months ago after two successive stints in the Europa League with the Eredivisie club and is set to start on Friday night.
“Koen can play in different positions, but I think his natural position is in the midfield, but he can also play upfront in a more attacking position,” said Stekelenburg, shedding some light on his compatriot.
Meanwhile, Bidvest Wits confirmed the signing Santos forward Erwin Isaacs last night.