Home Sport Soccer Pirates set to embark on a long and difficult journey, says Jele

Pirates set to embark on a long and difficult journey, says Jele

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It’s a preliminary round tie that marks the first step to the club’s lofty ambitions of matching their triumph in 1995

Picture: Muzi Ntombela BackpagePix

THEIR opponents’ pedigree might suggest it could very well be an easy day at the office tonight for Orlando Pirates when they make their long awaited return to the Caf Champions League, but captain Happy Jele says it’s important to build their momentum right from the start.

With a name like Light Stars and given that the Seychelles league hardly gets any rave reviews, the Buccaneers could very well run riot tonight at Orlando Stadium.

Lofty ambitions

It’s a preliminary round tie that marks the first step to the club’s lofty ambitions of matching their triumph in 1995.

“When we play Light Stars it will be the start of a long and difficult journey,” skipper Jele (pictured) said this week.

“Personally, I was there when we reached the final in 2013 and I remember how close we came and how much we wanted to clinch the Champions League trophy, especially for our supporters.

“Now that we have another chance it is key that we start things off on the right foot and build the momentum from there.”

Pirates will have to hit the ground running – after all this is what they have been working towards since the arrival of Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic last season.

It was the coach who said their priority was never to win the domestic PSL title, but to – at best – finish runners-up and qualify for the Champions League.

Beat Light Stars over two legs, negotiate their way past either Volcan Club (Comoros) or African Stars (Namibia) and the South African outfit is in the group stages of the continent’s premier club competition.

“From looking at the next four fixtures we have a tough task ahead of us and as such it is key that we have our supporters there to help us through,” said Jele.

The Buccaneers have registered their big hitters for the Champions League and coach Sredojevic will have to become a master at rotating his players in both fixtures on the continent and at home.

There will be a quick turn around back to league action following their Champions League engagement when they host Maritzburg United at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night to try to hold on to their lead at the top of the standings.