Orlando Pirates Chairman, Dr Irvin Khoza, addressed the Bucs players earlier this week, on Tuesday, ahead of their intense schedule.
Pirates played Polokwane City on Wednesday, claiming a 1-0 victory in their Absa Premiership fixture, and will now play two of their most important games of the season to date, in the space of three days.
On Sunday, Bucs will face Al Ahly in their final group stage game of the CAF Champions League and on Tuesday take on Kaizer Chiefs in the second leg of their MTN8 semi-final clash.
According to Soccer-Laduma sources at the club, the ‘Iron Duke’ took time out of his busy schedule to personally speak to the players before they went to camp.
“The chairman invited the players and the technical team to his office to have some few words with them. He told the players not to put themselves under any kind of pressure ahead of this hectic schedule. He told them there was no need for them to change anything about the way they play and that if ever there was time for them to rewrite the club’s history, it was in the next three games (Polokwane City, Al Ahly and Kaizer Chiefs). He told them to make the most of the platform they have, as they’ve worked so hard to get to where they are today,” revealed one informant.
Speaking to one of the players, who confirmed the meeting on condition of anonymity, the Siya crew was told, “The chairman just wanted to encourage us and also emphasise the importance of doing well in the three games. He also warned us against overlooking the league match because of the clash against Al Ahly and the upcoming Soweto derby, as the league is the most important of them all. He also told us that we set the standard by winning a treble, so we have to maintain it and understand that crazy schedules like these only come with championship.”
Another player told the crew, “The chairman also spoke to the technical team, especially Roger de Sa, not to worry about the on-going rumours about their future depending on the next results.”
Pirates’ Communications Manager, Mickey Modisane, confirmed the story. “Yes that’s true, the chairman spoke to the guys as a way of throwing his weight behind the boys. He’s the father to everyone here and giving motivational speeches to the guys is his thing,” said Modisane.
Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Lebogang Maile, visited the Pirates training ground on Wednesday and, according to Modisane, reminded the players that the last time he spoke to them, they went on to win a treble and therefore he was hoping for the same thing this time around.
Modisane further revealed that the MEC’s office bought 2000 tickets for the much-anticipated game against Ahly, which will be distributed to various institutions in Gauteng to show their support to Pirates.
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