After two months of not kicking a ball, Thabang Monare got off to a winning start in emphatic fashion for Orlando Pirates as they drubbed sworn enemies, Kaizer Chiefs, 3-0 this weekend.
Not only was it Monare’s first appearance in a Pirates shirt, it was also his first taste of Soweto Derby action.
The 31-year-old was signed by the Buccaneers after parting ways with Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila. Monare had to bide his time in Pirates’ opening games as he worked his way to full fitness.
Ahead of the match, coach Josef Zinnbauer hinted that Monare could feature for the Buccaneers in the MTN8 semi-final first leg. His inclusion in the starting XI proved to be a master stroke by the German tactition, as Monare bossed the midfield, much to the dismay of his former coach Gavin Hunt.
Speaking to Pirates official website, Monare revealed his satisfaction in helping Pirates record a mammoth victory over Amakhosi.
“It feels good to be off the mark for my new club but more importantly, it’s great to get the win. I haven’t played competitive football in a while so obviously my match fitness for the competitive games is not where I want it but it’s getting there.
“We are happy with the result on Saturday and I want to give credit to my teammates for making my debut a dream start, but we are well aware of the fact that the tie isn’t over yet, which is why we are not going to get ahead of ourselves.”
Despite the convincing win, Monare says he and his teammates are not swelling on the result but they are now fully focused on the upcoming match against Bloemfontein Celtic, as they look to salvage their stuttering start to the DStv Premiership.
“With the season so jam packed, there’s little time to dwell on Saturday’s result, the games are coming thick and fast and we have already shifted our minds to the next match against Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday,” Monare added.
Scroll through the gallery to see action from Pirates' big win: