CAPE TOWN, August 22 – Ajax Cape Town have announced an agreement with Glasgow Celtic for the sale of defender Rivaldo Coetzee has been concluded.
The Urban Warriors have since its inception in 1999 paved the way for African stars to make their way to the riches of the European Leagues, and Coetzee will now join the likes of Steven Pienaar, Daylon Claasen, Eyong Enoh and Thulani Serero in making the move abroad from the Parow-based club.
Entrenched in the club’s vision – Our Youth Our Future – Ajax are nurturing players to eventually ply their trade in the top leagues of world football.
Coetzee, who joined Ajax Cape Town as a fresh-faced 15-year-old, will now be aiming to make a name for himself at one of the globe’s most iconic and successful club sides.
Celtic are the reigning Scottish League Champions and currently on a 52 game unbeaten run following a 2-0 win over Kilmarnock FC last weekend.
‘The Hoops’ have won their country’s top division title on 48 occasions with their trophy cabinet boasting a further 37 Scottish Cup crowns, 16 Scottish League Cup titles and 1 European Cup for their victory in the 1967 final in Lisbon.
Former Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers is currently in charge at Celtic Park, with the Northern Irishman having closely monitored Coetzee’s progress with club representatives having travelled to the Mother City this year.
Rodgers believes Coetzee is a perfect fit for Celtic as he is a ball-playing dual-footed centre-back with an impressive range of pass – set to bolster the club’s ranks.
Going beyond their domestic success, Celtic have in the past few season’s offered a valuable launching pad to players boasting aspirations of playing in the English Premier League.
Virgil van Dijk, Victor Wanyama and Fraser Foster all made a name for themselves in Glasgow before making the switch across to England’s top-flight.
Add to the equation the fact that Celtic could be play UEFA Champions League football this season, a move to Scotland is an exciting one for Akax’s reigning Player and Player’s Player of the Season.
Coetzee, 20, made his debut for the club in February 2014 having graduated to the First Team from the club’s Youth Academy, starting from the onset in a 2-0 win over Polokwane City.
The Kakamas-born defender would go onto make close to 100 appearances for the club, scoring his only goal in a 1-1 draw at home to Golden Arrows at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening. The match would prove to be his swansong in the red and white of the Urban Warriors.
Coetzee, who was the youngest ever Bafana Bafana player – a record later broke by Fagrie Lakay – made his debut for the country’s National Team in a 2-0 win over Congo-Brazzaville on the 11th of October 2014, aged 17.
In total, he has racked up 16 Senior Team appearances, notably representing South Africa at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Moreover, Coetzee captained the successful 2016 COSAFA Cup-winning team while also making a name for himself at the Rio Olympics in Brazil later that same year.
Coetzee, who also travelled to Amsterdam with the Young Ajax squad on a couple of occasions, will join Celtic on a permanent deal, subject to the defender receiving a work permit and completing a medical.
– African News Agency (ANA)