Thembinkosi Lorch is hopeful he can still play overseas. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Thembinkosi Lorch has struggled to regain the form that saw him crowned Premier Soccer League Footballer of the Year last season and has blamed that on his failed move to Europe.

Lorch was in scintillating form for Orlando Pirates an he was virtually unstoppable and lethal in front of goal.

In a season that saw the Buccaneers challenge for the Absa Premiership title, Lorch was their inspiration and pillar of strength.

It was thus not surprising when he attracted the attentions of French and Belgian clubs.

In France Dijon and Toulouse were reported to be after his services while Belgium’s Union Saint-Gilloise were also trying to lure Lorch to their set-up.

But all that talk of a potential move to Europe came to nothing for the Pirates star.

And because of that, the man who got his chance with Bafana Bafana - albeit somewhat begrudgingly as former coach Stuart Baxter believed he was not ready yet - has had a pretty slow start to the current campaign.

“The failure to move affected me. I have to be honest because I was looking forward to playing overseas with the best players but obviously it didn’t happen and I have to focus on my team,” Lorch said ahead of yesterday’s Mandela Challenge match between South Africa and Mali.

The 26-year-old is still adamant he will achieve his dream of plying his trade abroad.

“I still believe that it will happen. I just have to work hard and score goals for the team in the coming matches just like I did last season,” he added.

Lorch is yet to get off in the mark in a new season that has seen the Buccaneers endure a turbulent start.

“Obviously I’m not happy because I have not scored and I haven’t made an assist. But I’ll get better. I just need to work hard and my confidence will get better and I’ll come back again.” Lorch explained.

He has hope that having been with Bafana will see him return to the club scene rejuvenated.

The Sea Robbers will entertain Stellenbosch FC in the last 16 of the Telkom Knockout next week as they look to end their five year run without a trophy.

They twice came close to winning trophies last season but succumbed to Baroka FC in the Telkom Knockout final and finished second in the league behind Mamelodi Sundowns.

Their chances of silverware this season has already dwindled significantly following their early elimination from both the MTN8 and CAF Champions League.

There can be no denying that Lorch will be key to Pirates turning their season around.

For that to happen though, he has to find the mojo that saw him walk tall at the 2018/19 PSL Awards Dinner with the accolade of the country’s best player in his hands.

@minenhlecr7


The Mercury

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