Felipe Ovono’s disappointing performances in goal for Orlando Pirates so far in the 2016/17 season have been attributed to a psychological problem.
The Equatorial Guinea goalkeeper has made some errors that have led to Pirates conceding soft and unnecessary goals this season.
Ovono played in Bucs’ season opener against Golden Arrows as well as in the team’s MTN8 clash against Bidvest Wits last weekend, and committed uncharacteristic errors in both games.
According to one of the sources close to the 23-year-old and Pirates, the shot-stopper is struggling to come to terms with the fact that he was initially placed on the transfer list at the Soweto giants, as revealed in issue 988 of the Soccer Laduma newspaper.
Following the two games and the errors he has committed, Ovono is said to be struggling with levels of low confidence at the moment.
“The situation regarding the boy is so sad. I think his mind-set is not okay. You must remember that this is the same player who was on the transfer list. He wasn’t sure about his future with the club. He didn’t even go to camp with the team and people are being harsh with him.
“There have been instances where he did well for the team. He last played last year and wasn’t even playing regularly. His mind is not right and he is not match fit. He was brought back into the team three days before the game against Platinum Stars during pre-season.
“The unfortunate thing about his mistakes is that they turn into goals. They are exposing him. Psychologically, the boy is not okay. A lot of things have happened to him and his career since his arrival in South Africa. He had already got it in his mind that he was leaving the club when he was put on the transfer list, so going back to the team was another challenge he needed to take.
“The boy is only 23 years old and sometimes people are so harsh on him. The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations was the first major tournament of his career. He was playing for a local team in Equatorial Guinea, which is not even a professional league. But Pirates is a big club and such performances cannot be justified,” a source told the Siya crew.
Pirates have their new goalkeeper, Jackson Mabokgwane, waiting for his opportunity to make his official debut, while Brighton Mhlongo also remains available for selection.
After being linked with Free State Stars during the transfer window, Siyabonga Mpontshane has also remained with Bucs to increase their goalkeeping options for this season.