This week former Orlando Pirates star Steve ‘Chippa’ Lekoelea talks about Sundowns’ interest in Oupa Manyisa and Thabo Matlaba, and also shares his views on Tendai Ndoro and Evans Kangwa.
On Sundowns interest in Manyisa and Matlaba
I saw in the Soccer Laduma newspaper that Sundowns want to sign our defender Thabo Matlaba and midfielder Oupa Manyisa. I was really disturbed by these reports because these two players form the core of our team and I don’t know why Sundowns are interested in them, as they have other quality players playing in their positions. I hope that the Chairman (Dr Irvin Khoza) will do everything he can to make sure that they don’t leave, especially Manyisa. Pirates cannot afford to lose him, especially so soon after losing Andile Jali. Pirates need to rebuild the team around him.
On Kangwa and Ndoro
I heard that we have signed a Zambian striker by the name of Evans Kangwa. This boy is a closed book to us so there’s isn’t much I can say about him. One can only hope that he is like the other top strikers that came out of Zambia - strikers like the late Dennis Lota, Chris Katongo, Collins Mbesuma and many others. If he is in the same class as them, then he is a good edition to the team. I’m just worried now that might have to release some of our good foreign players because I also heard that Pirates are interested in Tendai Ndoro, Mame Niang and Katongo.
On where Bucs need reinforcements
In my opinion, Pirates are sorted in all the other departments except the defence. Last season we struggled when Siyabonga Sangweni and Rooi Mahamutsa were injured, so we need to sign at least two quality defenders. We also need to sign a young defender that could be groomed as a long-term replacement for Lucky Lekgwathi. Lucky is old now and we cannot rely on him forever. I think if he gets another contract now, it would probably be his last, so we need young blood.