An Orlando Pirates midfielder who looks set to feature in his first Soweto Derby this weekend has confirmed that he is up for the challenge of possibly coming up against Kaizer Chiefs.
Having joined the Buccaneers before the start of the season, Bandile Shandu has appeared to have made a smooth transition from Maritzburg United as he has been getting game-time under coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids.
The Pietermaritzburg-born player has made 10 appearances in all competitions so far in the 2021/22 campaign and is grateful for his progress and the support he has been getting.
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The 26-year-old has credited the Pirates technical team and his teammates, ahead of Saturday’s eagerly-awaited clash against Bucs’ perennial rivals.
“I think the build-up to the game alone shows how big the game is and it shows how important the game is. There’s going to be nerves, it’s only normal, but the coaches that I have and the teammates that I have are walking me through it and they make me understand everything. So, it’s kind of getting easier day by day,” said Shandu, speaking to the media.
With his first Soweto Derby set to be without supporters at FNB Stadium, Shandu says he would have cherished the opportunity of playing in front of fully packed stadium.
“I think that is the whole reason why each and every kid that plays football back at home in the backyard dreams about… dreams about playing with 90 000 fans watching. So, I think that’s the dream and that’s what every footballer wants to experience. So, I think, for me it’s not a blessing in disguise but it’s the experience that I wanted to have. But nonetheless and most importantly, is getting the results that will make the Orlando Pirates supporters happy,” he added.
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