Buccaneers desperate for crown
Pirates have chance to end their four-year trophy drought in final against Baroka
ASAVELA Mbekile is synonymous with winning silverware, which is something that his new club Orlando Pirates haven’t done for the last four years.
Mbekile was at Mamelodi Sundowns before joining Pirates at the start of the season.
During his stint with Sundowns Mbekile lifted multiple trophies. He won the Nedbank Cup, Telkom Knockout, two league titles, the CAF Champions League and the CAF Super Cup.
Tomorrow Pirates lock horns with Baroka FC in the Telkom Knockout final at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth (6pm kick-off).
Mbekile is cognisant of the importance of ending the trophy drought for Pirates.
“It is important to win this cup. A team like Pirates doesn’t deserve to go so many years without winning something. Pirates deserves to win a cup. The club haven’t won a cup in a while,” Mbekile said.
“Winning this cup will give us confidence to go on and win the league,” he added.
Pirates’ last triumph was back in 2014 when they swept aside Bidvest Wits 3-1 at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban to lift the Nedbank Cup trophy.
“We won’t underestimate Baroka. Small teams can surprise you if you underrate them in such matches,” Mbekile said.
“There are no pushovers in the PSL. All the teams are good and Baroka have proven that against big teams in this competition. We will give the respect they deserve but our aim is to win the final.”
Baroka are searching for their maiden triumph. They will be looking to get another big scalp having already beaten Sundowns and Wits in this tournament.
“I want to win more. The winning feeling never fades away. Once you starting winning trophies you feel like winning more. You never get tired of winning,” Mbekile said.
“Sundowns is a big team and we were expected to win all our matches. It is the same here at Pirates. People want us to win all our games.”
Pirates are brimming with confidence, unbeaten in their last 13 games across all competitions.
“We have players who can score and create goals for us. The likes of Thembinkosi Lorch and Vincent Pule can score at any time and we have guys like Xola Mlambo and Ben Motshwari who are creating goals.
“So we don’t have to disappoint them. We have to make sure that we also do well at back.
“We have to use our chances and defend well and then we will be in a better position to win the match,” Mbekile said.
The Buccaneers are looking to land their second TKO crown having won it back in 2011 against Wits at Moses Mabhida.
“We’ve been working together as a team. We’ve been fighting for one another. We also have a good coach in ‘Micho’ (Milutin Sredojevic) and coach Rhulani (Mokwena). They get all the information needed for the opposition. They make our job easier,” Mbekile concluded.