Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo says that another trophyless season for the club will inspire them to go after the PSL title next season.
Pirates have not won a major trophy since their 2014 Nedbank Cup win and last tasted league success in the 2011/12 season. In 2012 Orlando Pirates closed to within one league title of the PSL’s most successful team, Mamelodi Sundowns. At the time Sundowns had won five titles and Pirates four but since then the Brazilians have added four more league wins and established themselves as the dominant force in South African football.
The Buccaneers have finished second in successive campaigns and Khuzwayo feels they owe their fans the ABSA Premiership, but concedes that Orlando Pirates will take what they can get as far as trophies are concerned.
“Obviously we are going to try go for the league, because we are a big team, a big brand. So for us it’s always about getting silverware, not just any silverware, but taking the league. That is the ultimate prize for us, winning the league,” Khuzwayo told KickOff.com.
“Obviously we are still on again next season for the Champions League and we are looking to take everything that is in our hands.”
Khuzwayo faces a battle with veteran keeper Wayne Sandilands for the right to be Orlando Pirates number one after a 2018/19 season blighted by injury.
Sandilands has been in good form for Pirates and was thought to be in the frame to represent Bafana Bafana, but was snubbed by coach Stuart Baxter.
Positives for Orlando Pirates
Pirates’ season had promised a lot this term but ultimately delivered very little end product and no trophies although a bright spot was the play of wide man Thembinkosi Lorch.
Such was Lorch’s form that he received plaudits from none other than Pirates’ title rivals Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.
“Look let’s be honest, I think Lorch also deserves Footballer of the Year,” Mosimane said.
Let’s not take it away from him, because the boy played well. He ran all the time, he scored goals. I’m happy Kekana won something before he retires because he has been consistent for six years and that’s what I want to see from Lorch. Can he nominated for Footballer of the Year for six years?
“I’m a little bit sad for Themba Zwane. He did very well. If it was up to me, I’d give one to Lorch, one to Themba Zwane and one to Keke. That’s if it was me. But it’s not about emotions, it’s not a social welfare where you have to give there and give there. If people have voted, we must respect it. The boy has done well. The challenge is can he do it again? Yes Kekana can do it again, you know what I’m trying to say. In football excellency is to win repetitively. To do it again? Let’s see, it’s not easy.”
For Orlando Pirates the challenge will be to elevate their game and coach Milutin Sredojević will have to instill a killer instinct in a team that dropped too many points in 2018/19.