This week, former Orlando Pirates star Steve ‘Chippa’ Lekoelea shares his views on Vladimir Vermezovic’s first season as Bucs coach and also talks about Pirates’ new signing, Issa Sarr.
On Bucs winning the Nedbank Cup
Firstly, I would like congratulate Pirates for winning this cup. I had no doubt, though, that they were going to win it. I remember going to their training ahead of the final: I saw the hunger in their eyes and I knew then than they would win this cup, and they won it. Even when Wits scored the opening goal, I didn’t panic because I knew that they were going to come back. One can only hope that Bucs will build from this victory and win more cups next season. Congratulations, Bucs!
On VV's first season at Pirates
It’s difficult to judge VV’s progress at Pirates because he came midway through the season. He also came at a time when the team was doing well under Roger de Sa, so he carried that momentum through to the Nedbank Cup triumph. He chopped and changed the squad in the league and that’s why we didn’t do so well there. He will start next season from scratch, so we’ll be able to judge him after the completion of that season. All we have to do now is keep on supporting him and the team.
On Sarr’s signing
Issa is very good player. I saw him playing for Platinum Stars last season and he played well there. One can only hope that he continues to play well for Pirates as well this season. At this stage, I can’t really say if Issa will fit into the Pirates system or not. In the past, Pirates have signed players who have done well at their former clubs, only to flop at Bucs. I just hope that doesn’t happen to Issa, because he could be the man to replace Andile Jali. Thandani Ntshumayelo did well for us in that position, though, so I’m wondering what will happen to him.
On a sad note, I would like to send my condolences to the family of my former mentor Shakes Kungwane. May his soul rest in peace.