at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Johannesburg – Kermit Erasmus’ goals are worth waiting for, often sublime strikes that show the true class we were robbed of when Gavin Hunt played him as a winger at his previous club SuperSport United.
Erasmus has scored twice for Orlando Pirates since joining from SuperSport this season, and both strikes have been quite good – first a left footed volley against Golden Arrows in the Telkom Knockout and a few days later a first time shot into the top corner of Itumeleng Khune’s net in the Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs.
The striker does not score regularly and admits to being disappointed by that, but towards the end of last year, he showed how much of a provider he can be while playing as a lone striker as he created all three of the goals the Buccaneers scored against against Platinum Stars in December.
He picks out teammates with graceful flicks and passes, and holds the ball upfront to give the midfield of Pirates time to push forward at speed, and a guy like Oupa Manyisa has recently benefited from Eramus’ ability to open up opposition defences.
Whether dropping deep, drifting wide or staying in a central position, Erasmus is easy for teammates to find.
“For me contributing to the team, creating or defending, that’s my main objective. As long as we win, I am happy with that. No matter who scores, if we win, we win together. It’s normal to be disappointed if you don’t score, but I am happy when my team wins.”
That, however, may not be enough for him to keep his place in the starting line-up.
He needs to bang in more goals in the second half of the season, especially now that the Buccaneers are not too far from getting a work permit for new Mozambican striker Helder Pelembe, who has been praised by coach Roger de Sa and Erasmus himself.
“Pelembe is good striker, a clinical striker.
“He is quite quick and stocky like me, but he is taller. He can shoot with both feet. He will get his chance to play and I hope he can grab it with both hands. It’s good that he is here. It will keep the team on their toes. It’s healthy competition in the team,” said Eramus.
If Erasmus gets to play regularly, unlike in the first of the season when he was in and out of the starting line-up due to his ineligibility to play in the Caf Champions League, he believes he can start scoring more often as Bucs bid to win the league.
“With regular game time, confidence and composure, I think the goals will come. I have learnt to become patient.
“You tend to become greedy as a striker wanting to score, but I have learnt a lot.”
The 23 year old comes up against the club that practically made him who is today, SuperSport, at Orlando Stadium on Saturday (3.30pm).
“They have special place in my heart, because I came through their ranks. But I prepare like any other game. As a professional, I would be looking to kill them off.”
The player has fond memories of his days with Matsatsantsa a Pitori, one of them when he won the league title in the 2007/2008 campaign, just a few months before he made a move to Dutch club Feyenoord, European Cup winners in 1970.
“Winning the league (his best memory). I was happy to be part of that before I left to go to Holland. Hopefully I can win it (with Pirates).”
He still has friends at SuperSport, one of them being Mame Niang, the lanky Senegalese born striker who stays in the same complex as Erasmus.
The players used to travel to training together when Erasmus was at SuperSport.
“I was actually with him the other day. We are close and we have a good understanding. In the game, we are not friends. After game we can be friends and get back to normal.”
Pirates will play three matches in 10 days, something they are probably used to after their hectic schedule which involved Champions League football, local knockout competitions, and the Premiership.