Buc­ca­neers des­per­ate for crown

Pi­rates have chance to end their four-year tro­phy drought in fi­nal against Baroka

Daily News - - SPORT - MINENHLE MKHIZE [email protected]

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.

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