Bongani Sam may be staying put at Orlando Pirates after all, having made his official debut at the weekend in the club’s 3-1 victory over Highlands Park.
There was talk of a loan move this month to either Chippa United or his former team Bloemfontein Celtic after both sides were understood to have shown an interest in the defender’s services.
While that could still be the case, Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer might also want to hold on to the left back and improve his game in close proximity.
Sam joined the Buccaneers in July last year and had only featured in the pre-season Carling Black Label Cup match against rivals Kaizer Chiefs that same month until he was given a rare opportunity in the absence of Innocent Maela on Saturday.
“We did not say anything to him until we got to the stadium, he did not know that he would be playing,” Zinnbauer told reporters.
He added that he was satisfied with his performance, though there is plenty room to make progress in the coming weeks.
“Sam is a young player and you need to be careful with him. We have been working with everyone, and him in individual sessions – we show him clips from these sessions and friendly games. I thought he had a good performance and we are happy about this,’ the coach said.