Orlando Pirates could be making some big decisions regarding their goalkeeping department next season, the Siya crew understands.
Wayne Sandilands is retiring and has been elevated to coach, while Siyabonga Mpontshane is yet to have his contract renewed.
The big shock is suggestions that Richard Ofori could be axed – but only if Ronwen Williams, a high-profile name, is available.
Confirmation that Jyri Nieminen was vacating his post as goalkeeper coach in December has opened the door for Sandilands to consider his long-term future beyond playing, and it is expected that he will officially take over that role next season.
Sandilands, who will be 38 in August, has been given the goalie coach title in the interim and indications are that he will still be registered to play for the 2021/22 campaign, but only as back-up in case there’s an emergency.
As things stand, Pirates have three goalkeepers ready to be called into first team action – Ofori, Mpontshane and Sandilands.
However, insiders have indicated to the Siya crew that only Sandilands appears to have his future guaranteed at the moment.
Although he has not been available for Pirates’ previous three games due to injury, there are doubts whether Ofori is the right man for the job – meaning his erratic performances lately have led to questions over his reliability as first choice.
That’s why the renewed interest in Williams has emerged.
Talk in the football fraternity is rife that SuperSport United will be sold at the end of the season, potentially leading to a mass player exodus similar to what happed at Bidvest Wits and all the high earners moved on.
But the club has so far strongly denied this rumour.
Pirates have been keen on Williams before, but according to reliable Siya sources there was never any formal offer made to pave the way for his transfer. He has since then committed his future to SuperSport several times.
In January the Siya crew learnt that the Bafana keeper had attracted interest from the Major League Soccer in the USA and that he would have been released by SuperSport if his international buy-out clause was met!
That move appears to be on hold, news probably welcomed by Pirates as that boosts their chances of potentially landing his signature.
Siya sources understand that the ideal set up for the Buccaneers next season in the goalkeeping department is to have Sandilands as coach and Williams as first choice, with Ofori probably being offloaded.
That still leaves Mpontshane out in the cold, especially after the Siya crew reported that AmaZulu’s Siyabonga Mbatha was also on the club’s radar.
Story by @superjourno
You may have forgotten Pirates signed these players over the years!