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MBABANE – Mbabane Highlanders and Sihlangu enterprising midfielder Lindani ‘Rio’ Matsenjwa has been afforded a rare opportunity to be assessed by Turkish top-tier football side Alanyaspor.

The gifted midfielder, who was nominated in the best junior category in the National Sports Awards early this year, is expected in Alanya, which is a beach resort city on the southern coast of Turkey, before the end of the month.  Classified information leaked to this publication suggested that he would undergo assessment with the hope of joining the little known but forceful side.

“The team (Highlanders) should cater for visa costs while the Turkish club will cover all the expenses in Turkey,” alleged an impeccable source.
Details on the exact date of the player’s departure were scanty at the time of compiling this report.
Highlanders Chairman Ally Kgomongwe confirmed the invitation, saying the team would not stand in the way of the player despite being a little bit sceptical after the botched deal of Leon Manyisa in Armenia.

“I knew when we brought ‘Rio’ on board that he was a very talented player.  He is a good and well-mannered player and we want to see him achieving great things in football.

“I’m still waiting for a report from the management committee regarding the player’s paperwork, so I’m not sure of the exact date of his departure at the moment, but he will definitely leave once everything is in place,” he said.


‘Rio’ joined Highlanders from Young Buffaloes over two months ago. He is already popular with the supporters because of his silky skills. At only 20, he is one of the youngest Sihlangu players.

Alanyaspor, on the other hand, are no ordinary side. They are currently fourth on the Turkish League ahead of powerhouses Fenerbahce (fifth) and Galatasaray (eighth). At one point, they were at the summit of the standings of the 18-team league. At least 13 games have been played so far.

Meanwhile, doors seem to be opening for more local players abroad. Manzini Wanderers starlet Leon Manyisa is fresh from Amernia. In October, Denver Sundowns shot-stopper Lwethu Simelane, who is reported to be back home for the holidays, left for Slovakia alongside Vovovo’s Mxolisi Tsabedze and Wandile Dlamini.

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