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HomeDStv PremiershipMaela Hails Mofokeng And Co. for Stepping Up At Pirates

Maela Hails Mofokeng And Co. for Stepping Up At Pirates

Orlando Pirates captain Innocent Maela has praised the likes of Relebohile Mofokeng for stepping up and showing leadership this season.

Mokfokeng, 19, has scored four goals with six assists in 32 appearances in what’s his first full season in the senior team at Pirates.

His form has seen him emerge as a contender for the Premier Soccer League (PSL) Young Player of the Season, while midfielder, Thalente Mbatha, a surprise January signing on loan from SuperSport United has also been a key figure with the club at the age of 24.

Patrick Maswanganyi, 26, is now also in his first full season in the DStv Premiership with Pirates, having joined SuperSport mid-way through the season after several years in the lower leagues in Portugal.

But these inexperienced players, for a lack of a better description, has grown in leaps and bounds as the season progressed as Riveiro’s charges secured five consecutive wins for the first time since his arrival.

Relebohile Mofokeng of Orlando Pirates during Orlando Pirates Media Day at Rand Stadium on the 02 May 2024 © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

“Not only Rele [has grown], if you look at the team, every individual, even players that are not part of the match day squad, the players not travelling with the team,” Maela said.

“It’s because of the environment the team has created for each and everyone, the way we train, the way we plan and set up, it gives us the freedom and opportunity for us to go there and perform to the best of our ability within the game plan.

“So I have to give credit to how we train, the environment we have within the changing room, how we prepare for matches but yeah – as senior players we try to guide as best we can, we try to help.

“But even the youngsters now, they are taking leadership roles which is very encouraging to see and we say… they must continue working hard, remain humble and they must continue respecting the game each and every day.”

Pirates take on Chippa United on Saturday afternoon at the Nelson Mandela Stadium (15h00).

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.
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