‘When You Sign For Pirates, You’re Not Only Signing For A Club…’
Orlando Pirates made the unprecedented move to snap up three new players last week rather than just one, and they’ve explained why they’ve added to their reserve side.
The Buccaneers teamed up with Shield once again this year as part of their Sbonisi'Diski, but instead of choosing one winner that would land a one-year contract with their Multichoice Diski Challenge side, they instead chose three of them to come on board for the 2019/20 season.
Coaches from around South Africa and also from English giants, Chelsea, whittled down 11 000 budding footballers to just 25 last month, but only three of them were due to get the chance to travel to England to train with the Blues, while one would secure a deal in South Africa.
Pirates’ youth development coach, Mandla Qhogi, gave some insight into how they selected their three winners, and also hinted at why they opted to make the decision to sign up three of the talented young players - Amogelang Matebesi, Cassius Spandiel and Thandanani Tshabalala - rather than just one as originally planned.
Speaking to Soccer Laduma after the announcement, Qhogi explained, “It was difficult – but the club is looking for players, and that’s why we entered into a partnership with Shield. This is an easy way of trying to find talent, and helping fulfil the dreams of players. Players in South Africa want to play for Pirates.
“At the HPC (High Performance Centre) we made a presentation of what type of player that we’re looking for, and one thing that was mentioned was the mentality of the players. Psychologically they need to be tough, they need to work in the team and work on and off the field.
“When you sign for Pirates, you’re not only signing for a club – you’re signing for an institution. You need to make sure that whatever you do doesn’t have a bad influence on the club.”
Meanwhile, with regards to what lies ahead for the budding footballers, Qhogi revealed that they might find themselves playing sooner than expected, saying, “It’s a little bit easier this season than last year, because the announcement has been made early, prior to them going to Chelsea. Also, the MDC hasn’t started and we’re still in pre-season, so for them to join us now is easy to make sure they adapt to the club’s playing philosophy, the game model, and the players around them.
“So when the MDC kicks off, surely they might even be in the starting line-up.”