Ex-Bucs Striker: Pirates Have Been Here Before
A former Orlando Pirates striker believes the team's long-awaited return to the CAF Champions League is a good thing not only for the Soweto giants but for South African football as a whole.
The Buccaneers may have fallen just short in the Absa Premiership this season but their second-placed finish earned Milutin Sredojević's side their spot in Africa's premier club cup competition for the first time since 2013, where Pirates finished as runners-up to Al Ahly.
Ex-Bucs forward Pollen Ndlanya, who helped lead Pirates to an Absa Premiership and MTN8 double in the 2000/01 season, has brushed off concerns of rustiness, claiming the pedigree of the Soweto outfit, coupled with a balance of youth and experience, should render their six-year absence inconsequential.
"This isn't new. They have played CAF before," he tells the Siya crew. "And (now) they have enthusiastic young stars who are capable of doing the job.
"It's good for our country, to have another team that can represent - more teams that are capable, from South Africa."
Ndlanya has also challenged the less-travelled Bucs squad members to make the most of their chance in the biggest club cup competition available on the African continent, where Pirates were previously crowned champions in 1995.
"Also, for individual players, it's a boost for them, to play (on the continent), unlike all the time playing locally," continued Ndlanya.
"When you play with good teams like Esperance and TP Mazembe, you get experience.
"It's good for our country, and for the team, and the individual."