As many as seven players are more than likely set to head for the exit door after the Vodacom Challenge, as coach Julio Leal continues to run the rule over his blotted squad. Leal says, "It is impossible to work with 43 players", which paves the way for mass exodus at the club in an attempt to reduce the team to "between 28 and 30 players". Behind the scenes at Bucs, there has been quite a few movements. Lehlohonolo Seema, Excellent Walaza, Lebohang Mothibantwa, Zvenyika Makonese and Reason Chiloane’s respective contracts were not renewed. The axe, in the meantime, hovers over the heads of Ezenwa Otorogu, Dennis Masina, Josephy Kamwendo, Jacob Mokhasi, Thando Mdluli, Robert Modiadie and Wilson Shendzelani who all didn’t travel with the team and are currently training under the watchful eye of Augusto Palacios, the youth development head, in Jozi. Leal says: "We have left players in Johannesburg who are training with Augusto Palacios… It is impossible to work with 43 players so after working with them for 13 days I decided on the players who are with us on the trip. "I want to have a squad of between 28 and 30 players, that can compete locally and internationally," he tells KickOff.com. However, the Brazilian has vowed to tread carefully in dealing with those who will be deemed surplus to requirements after careful consideration by the entire technical team.
_quote "Together with management, we must be careful how we handle this… It doesn’t mean those who are not here are not good and we will respect them. So it is not only just about what I know about the players, but also what my technical staff knows. (But) we can’t have five goalkeepers! It is impossible to work with so many players. All the players want to play and they will be happy if they are playing but it is impossible to play all of them." Pirates revealed recently that Leal decided to drop David Fakude and Thabang Rammutsoe from the original 34-man Vodacom Challenge squad, but the duo are new signings and are more than likely to form part of the team in the upcoming campaign. Of the 32 players in camp for the ongoing Vodacom Challenge (see list below), it appears they may be in Leal’s plans for the 2011/12 season. However, despite having made the cut there is talk of Ndumiso Mabena and Phenyo Mongala possibly going on loan. Pirates’ 32 players on Vodacom Challenge tour: Goalkeepers: Moeneeb Josephs, Senzo Meyiwa, Brighton Mhlongo Defenders: Lizo Mjempu, Vusi Mthimkulu, Sibusiso Mxoyana, Njabulo Ntusi, Siyabonga Sangweni, Lucas Thwala, Reuben Cloete, Happy Jele, Robyn Johannes, Lucky Lekgwathi, Rooi Mahamutsa. Midfielders: Mark Mayambela, Benson Mhlongo, Phenyo Mongala, Clifford Ngobeni, Tlou Segolela, Isaac Chansa, Sameehg Doutie, Andile Jali, Daine Klate, Dikgang Mabalane, Oupa Manyisa Strikers: Ndumiso Mabena, Patrick Malokase, Thulasizwe Mbuyane, Chiukepo Msowoya, Bongani Ndulula, Siphelele Mthembu and Rudolf Bester.