Ready to take the step up to the big time
“I know Pirates were interested and, looking back at the last two seasons they’ve had, me coming back and joining a club as big as Pirates – with all the stuff currently going on behind the scenes – I don’t know… I spoke to a few guys that know the club inside out and they also said to me, ‘I think you made the best decision to join Wits’,” he explains. “The way Wits are running things is good for me, and I want to come home and enjoy my football – that, for me, was the most important thing.”
Serbian tactician Milutin
“Micho” Sredojevic was recently unveiled as the new man in charge at the Buccaneers, following the abrupt departure of Swedish coach Kjell Jonveret after just six months at the helm. The problem, though, is with more than just the coach, which has been changed eight times since January 2014. The players continue to let the team down while prancing around social media as if the on-field struggles don’t mean a thing. “Going to Pirates, where there’s basically a clean-up job going, as a new player you don’t want to be stuck in that situation because there’s going to be a lot of pressure. I just want to come and enjoy my last couple of years of football back home,” Pienaar adds. “Wits being champions of South Africa is also a big thing, and for me to come back home and join them is also good for my profile. I want to play in Africa and this is a good opportunity for me to do that. But also, I’d like to invest my time in the club where there’s a lot of young players coming through; I can help along the way with the coach and I think it’s just a good combination. “I really just came back because I want to play with a smile on my face and make sure that I stay healthy and enjoy it. Obviously, coming back home is something
I’ve always wanted, and to play in South Africa is also about all the supporters who I have around the country, many of whom have never seen me play live, so it’s a nice opportunity for them to do that.”
Fans would argue of his injury
history in recent years, having made just 35 apperances in the last three seasons, being a major concern as they look to rebuild themselves to a competitive outfit amongst the top four this coming season. With Hunt’s side set to contest across five competitions – including the league, three domestic cups and the Champions League – this season, the veteran attacker feels managing himself on and off the park will be the determining factor in his output. “At Wits, we have a big squad with a lot of good players, so it’s important that I manage myself. It’s also about when the manager decides to rest me, I’ve got to take that on the chin and try and see the benefits. If I don’t play then I’ll obvioulsy remain close to the team and help the guys that are playing, which will also be a good thing,” Pienaar says.
(Main) Pienaar playing for Tottenham Hotspur in a friendly against Orlando Pirates, the team he snubbed.