After losing his place in Orlando Pirates’ starting XI despite his bright start to the campaign, defender Wayde Jooste has revealed how warming the bench for the Buccaneers has given him added motivation.
Jooste joined the Buccaneers in a surprise move at the start of the campaign after parting ways with Highlands Park, who sold their topflight status to TS Galaxy.
The utility player enjoyed a bright start to his Pirates career, featuring in a host of games for Josef Zinnbauer’s side. However, the 29-year-old saw his fortunes change at the Buccaneers owing to niggling injuries and a lack of form, which ultimately saw him being starved of game time and Siphesihle Ndlovu deployed in the right-back zone.
However, Jooste was restored to the Bucs starting XI in their last DStv Premiership match against Black Leopards, putting in a Man of the Match display in what was his 100th cap in the country’s top flight.
In an interview with Pirates’ media department, Jooste opened up on his spell on the sidelines and whether it derailed the plans he had for his debut season with the club.
I'd say yes, at the same time, I'll say no. Yes, in the sense that I've missed out on a lot of games. That's obviously not something I wanted. But it's also made me stronger. For instance, (the Black Leopards match) being my first start in a long time. It motivated me to want my jersey back. All that is left now is to hold on to it,” Jooste explained.
With a place in the CAF Confederations Cup quarter-final berth and the top four in their sights, the Port-Elizabeth-born defender has revealed his and the club’s ambitions for the remainder of the campaign.
“Personally, I just want to play as much as I can in these last few games. For the Club, I hope we can climb as high as we can on the log. We're also still in the CAF Confed Cup, so there's a lot to play for there as well,” he explained.