Gabadinho Mhango has been included in the 28-man Orlando Pirates squad for the Caf Champions League. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

He says he has been waiting patiently to play for a “big team” in South Africa, and now that Gabadinho Mhango is at Orlando Pirates, he backed up his talk with a goal.

The 26-year-old from Malawi first turned out for Bloemfontein Celtic in Mzansi in 2013, and went on to represent Golden Arrows in 2015.

But Mhango made his name at Wits over the last few years, although he fell out of favour at the Clever Boys last season, which led to his shift to the Buccaneers.

And while some players may feel daunted by the prospect of turning out for one of the big guns in the Premiership, Mhango showed his class by coming on off the bench and scoring in the 3-1 victory over Celtic.

“Like I have said before, coming to a team like Orlando Pirates a player understands the weight of expectations that comes with donning that jersey,” Mhango told the Pirates website.

“The night was made even more special that it was played at Orlando Stadium – a place where a lot of history has been made; and most importantly, we were able to get what we set out to achieve by collecting maximum points for our opening game of the season.

“For me personally, it was a great feeling coming on and scoring in front of the home fans. It was an important game for us, and we needed to start things right.

“I’ve been looking forward to playing for a big team since I arrived in South Africa, and to finally get the chance at Pirates is a big achievement and one that I am very proud of.”

Mhango will hope to get more game time this weekend when Pirates travel to Zambia to take on Green Eagles in a Caf Champions League preliminary round encounter on Saturday.

The Malawian international has been included in the 28-man Pirates squad for the tournament that was announced on Tuesday.

Some of the other new signings selected by coach Milutin Sredojevic are striker Zakhele Lepasa, goalkeeper Joris Delle and Fortune Makaringe.

The return leg against Green Eagles will be played on 23 August in Johannesburg.

Orlando Pirates Caf Champions League Squad

Goalkeepers: Joris Delle, Siyabonga Mpontshane, Wayne Sandilands.

Defenders: Asavela Mbekile, Happy Jele, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Bongani Sam, Innocent Maela, Alfred Ndengane, Mthokozisi Dube, Paseka Mako.

Midfielders: Thembinkosi Lorch, Ben Motshwari, Siphesihle Ndlovu, Vincent Pule, Luvuyo Memela, Abel Mabaso, Musa Nyatama, Fortune Makaringe, Kabelo Dlamini, Xola Mlambo, Tebogo Tlolane.

Forwards: Gabadinho Mhango, Justin Shonga, Tshegofatso Mabasa, Augustine Mulenga, Zakhele Lepasa, Austin Muwowo.

@ashfakmohamed


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