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Pirates poised to plunder PSL this season

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Goodman Mosele of Orlando Pirates (right) challenged by Nathan Sinkala of Stellenbosch FC during the DStv Premiership 2021/22 match at Orlando Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackapagePix

The fact that Orlando Pirates have made some changes to their technical team could very well be their springboard to glory in the near future, writes Mihlali Baleka.

JOHANNESBURG – ORLANDO Pirates’ bid to return to the top of South African football has taken a few knocks in the past few seasons.

But the fact that Pirates have made some changes to their technical team could very well be their springboard to glory in the near future.

Last week, Josef Zinnbauer tendered his resignation as coach after Pirates were bundled out of the MTN8 quarter-finals by Swallows FC.

Since then, Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids have been asked to steer the Sea Robbers’ ship.

The two caretaker coaches guided Pirates to a 2-2 draw in their opening Premiership match against Stellenbosch FC on Saturday. Pirates came from behind and led before substitute Judas Moseamedi snatched a point for the visitors.

It wasn’t that Pirates didn’t come out of the blocks and played – they did.

The introduction of debutants Goodman Mosele and Bandile Shandu brought life to their midfield. As a result, the former got a debut goal and the man-of-the-match award.

But perhaps Mosele will know that he has to churn out impressive outings week-in and week-out if he is going to start ahead of Ben Motshwari. After all, there is arguably no team that has more quality midfielders in the top-flight than Pirates.

Mosele played for Baroka FC last season, while he claimed the Young Player of the Season award two seasons ago. It’s Mosele’s creative movements and passing accuracy that makes him stand out from most midfielders at Pirates. But he will know that’s not good enough as he has to chip in with goals on a frequent basis.

He started off well, heading home against Stellies. With the right balance and adaptability, he will be one of the players to look out for.

But Mosele cannot carry Pirates alone … they will need the rest of their players to come to the fore as well. Their defence has let them down in the past few matches, which proved costly. Their attacking unit has shown quality, though.

That quality has to come to the fore when they face Marumo Gallants on Tuesday afternoon. The Venda-based team lost their opening match to neighbours Baroka on Saturday and will be eager to get their campaign up and running in Limpopo.

Marumo surprisingly won the Nedbank Cup, despite their struggles on and off the field last season. They’ll be eager to show their opponents that they belong in the top flight, following the recent changes within the club.

Coach Sebastian Migne is an unknown figure who has to prove the club’s decision to appoint him as Dylan Kerr’s successor was the right one. But it’s not Migne who’ll be on the pitch, instead it will be the players. Goalkeeper Washington Arubi was important in their first spell in the top flight.

Perhaps it was due to their compact and organised midfield that had Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo and Thabo Mnyamane that tried to make them tick going forward.

And that’s why they’ll have to be at their best when they host Pirates at home.

@MihlaliBaleka

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