With just a few days to go before the Carling Black Label Cup, Soccer Laduma takes you into the heart of Orlando Pirates’ preparations for their clash against archrivals, Kaizer Chiefs.
The Buccaneers have escaped the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg for the tranquil but lush facilities at the Royal Marang Sports Complex – former home of the now-defunct Platinum Stars.
For the first time in three seasons, the Soweto giants have had a full pre-season, with the club currently into their fifth week of preparations.
In light of this, we take you inside the Pirates camp:
Pirates made four new signings at the start of the season. Of the four new signings Monnapule Saleng was on the sidelines doing extra running with captain Happy Jele, having joined his teammates following a brief break after his COSAFA Cup exploits. Bandile Shandu and Kwanda Mngonyama took part in Wednesday’s session, while Goodman Mosele is expected to link up with his teammates upon his return from Tokyo, where he represented South Africa in the Olympics. Bucs youngster Boitumelo Radiopane, who is set to be promoted to the first team, also formed part of the session.
A number of players returned to Pirates after spending the 2020/21 season out on loan. Tebogo Tlolane (Maritzburg), Gladwin Shitolo (Arrows), Sandile Mthethwa (Chippa), Simiso Bophela (Sekhukhune), all took part in the session, while Mthokozisi Dube (Arrows), watched on from the sidelines.
A number of players sat out Wednesday’s session for Pirates. Amongst them are Zakhele Lepasa, Kabelo Dlamini and Tshegofatso Mabasa. Terrence Dzvukamanja, and Vincent Pule did not take part in the session – but did extra running on the sidelines.
Doubters for Sunday:
As mentioned by Bucs coach Josef Zinnbauer, five players will be missing the clash against Chiefs this weekend, while Ben Motshwari and Innocent Maela underwent extra running drills with the clubs fitness trainers. As voted by the supporters, the final CBL line-up includes fan favourites.
Pirates had their full compliment of goalkeepers available, with Siyabonga Mpontshane, Wayne Sandilands, Richard Ofori, Kopano Thuntsane and newly-promoted Elson Sithole, all being put through their paces by new goalkeeper coach Sjoerd Woudenberg.