In an unprecedented move this week, Orlando Pirates opted to give one-year contracts to three lucky players as they embark on professional football careers for the first time.
Check out the latest Buccaneers signings in the gallery above!
The third year of Shield’s Sbonis'iDiski campaign came to an end this week as coaches from the Buccaneers and Chelsea FC in England looked to choose the which three players would be heading to London and which one would secure himself a contract with Pirates’ MDC side.
So difficult, however, was the decision, that all three winners were given both prizes, meaning that the trio of Amogelang Matebesi, Cassius Spandiel and Thandanani Tshabalala will soon jet out to the United Kingdom before returning to get to work with Bucs’ MDC outside in the new season.
Matebesi and Spaniel, both from Kimberley, and Tshabalala of the Free State voiced their thoughts shortly after they were chosen by the coaches, and were visibly emotional at having been selected as the final three after the players were whittled down from a whopping 11,000 budding footballers.
Here’s what the trio had to say…
“I’m feeling very good. This is a great experience, from what I’ve seen at HPC, it’s been great with the guys from all over the country. It’s I want to cry right now, seriously, I want to cry. Now is the opportunity to go out there and show what I’ve been chosen for. I want to work hard, in six years’ time I want to be playing for the South African national team.
“From the coaches I’ve learned many things. I’ve learned to be patient, know your work, and they taught us that hard work pays off.”
“I’m excited to be part of the Orlando Pirates MDC side, and I’m actually excited about going to England to train with Chelsea also. I want to improve every day and train harder.
“I can see myself improving and minimising the mistakes I make in life, and the coaches taught me about being a team player and selflessness. They were really helpful encouraging every player.”
“I was scared! When they started to call our names I was scared… When they called mine, yoh, my heart felt happy and I felt proud of myself. I will make my parents proud.I’ve worked hard to get here, and I feel happy to get the chance to go to London.
“I’m going to go to the UK and gain experience so that when I come back I can play for Orlando Pirates. I’m happy to join Orlando Pirates, and I’m going to work hard to show them that I’m the best so that they can see what they’ve selected with me.”