More of the same, but not for ChiefsComment on this story
Johannesburg - Around this time last year, Lehlohonolo Majoro sent the FNB Stadium into a state of pandemonium when he netted the only goal of the game to hand Kaizer Chiefs their first Carling Black Label Cup title in three attempts.
This year, 364 days after celebrating with the Amakhosi faithful at the iconic arena in Nasrec, Majoro is hoping for more of the same, but this time with the black and white of Orlando Pirates.
Following a tumultous January transfer window, Majoro finally joined the Buccaneers but was immediately sidelined with a host of injury setbacks, which kept the 27-year-old out of action for much of last season.
The Sea Robbers meet Chiefs on Saturday afternoon in what will be the fourth edition of the unique pre-season encounter, where members of the public vote for the teams' starting line-ups and substitutions.
Such has been the impact of Majoro’s arrival from the Glamour Boys, fans have conveniently forgotten that his first half winner was the only thing separating them from a third successive Black Label Cup title on a frisky Saturday afternoon, not too different from the one expected this coming weekend.
Majoro is currently the second-most-voted-for player in the Buccaneers’ camp, with goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa predictably leading the pack with almost double the number of votes.
Nevertheless, Majoro will be on the field when the whistle blows for kick-off and the nuggety attacker from the Free State ackowledges he will have an integral role to play.
“My personal motto is: team first, and your individual glory comes after,” Majoro said on Tuesday.
“I believe every striker plays to score, he plays to help the team win. Whether you score or not, as long as the team wins, I believe that’s the most important thing.
“I’m happy that I’ve been here. Pirates have supported me, management, coaches, players. So all that happened last season is in the past.”
Third in the standings and hot on Majoro’s heels is fellow stiker Kermit Erasmus, who is also guaranteed a starting berth in coach Vladmir Vermezovic’s side, which rarely features two strikers in ordinary circumstances, with the coach preferring a single spear-head to lead the attack.
But for Majoro, Erasmus' presence will be a poignant reminder that none of the Buccaneers are guaranteed their places in the team.
“I can’t say that I have pressure. Pressure is everywhere, whether you play professional football for Maritzburg United, Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates,” Majoro added.
“The difference is how you handle it.
“It’s always good to have competition. As a player, when you have competition, it means that you have to up your game and when you up your game, the team does well.
“I came here to Orlando Pirates knowing the competition that I’ll be facing, so I’m excited by everything that has been happening and I’m looking forward to doing well and improving as a player.”
As for his targets for the upcoming season, Majoro simply “wants what’s best for the team”.
“I believe we always have our personal goals, but our goals must be met immediately after the team’s goals have been met,” he said.
“Goals, as strikers, it’s what is expected of us. But for me, what matters most is that the team wins.
“I’m focussing, I’ve got a clear mind, all I have to do is continue what I’m doing and that’s to play football.”