Sport

Pirates bolster their forces

2018-05-27 13:23

A new left-back and winger have been signed, and the Bucs are also courting Andile Jali.

Orlando Pirates are already showing their intentions of going a step further this season.

Just a week into the off season, Pirates, who finished second on the log to Mamelodi Sundowns, have already bolstered their squad.

This week, Pirates chairperson Irvin Khoza confirmed in an interview with City Press that the Buccaneers would soon unveil winger Kudakwashe Mahachi and left-back Paseka Mako as additions to the team.

He also revealed that he had held discussions with coveted Bafana Bafana midfielder Andile Jali with a view to re-signing him.

Mahachi and Mako will join from Golden Arrows and Chippa United, respectively, while Jali – a former Pirates player – has just parted ways with Belgian side KV Oostende.

Former Pirates striker Gift Motupa, who was on loan to Baroka, has been let go and has joined Chippa on a three-year deal. This move was seen as paving the way for Mako.

Khoza said goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo, who spent the season on loan to Chippa, will join Benni McCarthy’s Cape Town City.

Midfielder Riyaad Norodien, who was shipped to Platinum Stars in the second half of the season, where he is involved in the promotion play-off, could also be on his way to join City.

Mahachi, who hails from Zimbabwe, has always been linked with a move to the Bucs, and Khoza has revealed that they would finally welcome him.

However, Khoza emphasised that this was just the beginning of their onslaught on the market and promised that the club, which has qualified for the CAF Champions League, would be very busy. He said there were other players that Pirates were eyeing.

Regarding Jali, Khoza said they were now just waiting for the versatile playmaker to make up his mind.

“He was here and we had a good discussion. Now the ball is in his court. He said he would come back to us and we are waiting to hear from him,” said Khoza.

Jali has been linked with moves to league champions Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs since his return from Belgium.

Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane also wanted to have a sit-down with the 28-year-old before committing to anything.

Khoza also said they would welcome goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo if he wanted to join them.

“His agent has not spoken to us, but we will welcome him if he wants to come. I can’t say much at this moment because we have not spoken to his agent.”

Khuzwayo has already bid his Kaizer Chiefs family farewell after the last game of the season against Ajax Cape Town. His contract ends next month.

The Buccaneers’ goalkeepers have not covered themselves in glory in recent times.

At the beginning of last season, Pirates brought in Wayne Sandilands from Sundowns, but he was found wanting at times.

He lost his spot to Siyabonga Mpontshane and Jackson Mabokgwane.

Khoza said they had not decided who they were going to ship out to make way for the new arrivals.

In what may come as disappointing news to Pirates fans, Khoza was quick to point out that striker Thamsanqa Gabuza was staying put.

Gabuza has had a love-hate relationship with the Buccaneers’ followers, largely because of his paltry conversion rate.

He did, however, score the side’s last goal of the season against Free State Stars.

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September 23 2018