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HomeDStv PremiershipShandu Explains Slow Start To 2022/23

Shandu Explains Slow Start To 2022/23

Orlando Pirates defender Bandile Shandu says he’s behind Thabiso Monyane at the right-back position because he picked up a knock at the beginning of the season.

As Shandu was nursing a knock, Monyane has wrestled the right-back spot, showing energy to bomb up and down in the right flank.

As he is overloading the right side, Golden Arrows could not handle him alongside star man currently Monnapule Saleng, who grabbed both goals in that match in Durban last week Tuesday.

Monyane was again at his best in the second leg of the MTN8 semi-final on Sunday against Mamelodi Sundowns, overloading the right hand side of Aubrey Modiba, who was terrorised by Saleng, with the latter being involved in all three goals.

Saleng set up Kermit Erasmus for the first goal after beating Modiba with pace before scoring the two, another brace in one week, as Pirates crushed Sundowns 3-0 in Limpopo to reach the MTN8 final. Again, Shandu did not partake in the team, a clear indication that he is behind Monyane and has a lot of work to do to wrestle the spot back.

“I think it was just about the start of the season, I got the knock during the pre-season. So it was not the best preparation unlike what I did in the previous season,” said Shandu.

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“I think that has had a huge impact on my game when the season started. But as games come, slowly but surely I’m gaining my confidence and I’m getting a bit of game time.”

Shandu completely owned the right back position when Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids were in charge as co-coaches last term, featuring in all 30 league matches, starting 28 of them, scoring two goals in the process.

In all, he featured in 45 games, scoring seven goals, as Monyane was relegated to the DStv Diski Challenge team where he was the captain. 

Shandu was a surprise signing by Pirates at the beginning of last season after he was released by Maritzburg United. To have joined Pirates after he was released by Maritzburg, it also came as a huge shock to him.

“It was,” admitted Shandu.

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 “I think when you are released by Maritzburg and then join Pirates because this is a big team, and all of us want to play for Pirates. Yes, it was a shock but at the same time I was happy.

“As you grow as a player, you want to play for a big team and I saw that when we went to play in Africa, people knew Pirates.”

The Buccaneers went to the CAF Confederations Cup final last season, where they lost to RS Berkane on penalties. This campaign, however, they are not taking part in any CAF interclub competitions.

Story by Robin-Duke Madlala (@duke_robin).

Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala is iDiski Times' KwaZulu-Natal-based web journalist. Boasting extensive experience in the South African football landscape, Robin-Duke has previously worked for Kick-Off Magazine, Soccer Laduma, and Daily Sun and Sunday Sun. He specialises in breaking news and transfers around South Africa’s big clubs in KZN.