Thembinkosi Lorch is aware there were coaches that were not convinced about him being the best player in the league last season but he’s not putting himself under pressure to deliver this term.
Lorch had a 2018/19 season to remember in the famous black and white jersey of Orlando Pirates, inspiring the team to the final of the Telkom Knockout and the runners-up finish in the Premiership.
Those impressive exploits were richly rewarded at the PSL annual awards, scooping the PSL Footballer of the Season and the Player’s Player of the Season awards.
However, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane had a mixed reactions about him bagging the top gong, instead saying that his skipper Hlompho Kekana had ticked all the correct boxes to scoop the award.
Nonetheless, Mosimane accepted the defeat of Kekana to Lorch, while he challenged “Nyoso” to be consistent going forward and prove his coronation was not a fluke.
Lorch’s start to the season has been more cold than hot, moreover, it’s been downgraded by the team’s poor start, with Bucs win-less in their last six matches.
“I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, I know that I am a good player,” Lorch said.
“After I won the Player of the Season, there were coaches who had opinions of who should have won what. That made me keep working harder, and prove (to myself) that I am the best. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, all I have to do is play for the team and try win trophies. Last season we did well but we didn’t win anything.”
Fresh from being crowned the best in the PSL, Lorch set his sight to the Africa Cup of Nations.
But then Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter didn’t regard him as international material at first sight, and only played him later in the tournament, against hosts Egypt in the knockout stages.
The 26-year-old didn’t let his fanbase down, scoring the solitary goal that ensured Bafana progressed to the quarter-finals, while Egypt left their own party early.
That performance, together with his domestic form last season, didn’t go unnoticed as he reportedly attracted interest from clubs in France and Belgium.
But a deal to move abroad fell through at the eleventh hour, giving the Ghost having another opportunity to watch Lorch playe for their beloved Sea Robbers.
“Yes, I did have some offers from overseas but they were not good (enough) for me and the club,” he said.
“My focus is on Pirates. I have a contract with the club and I will honour that and play. Maybe the right move will come. I was disappointed because all the players want to play overseas, especially at my age, but I just have to continue working hard because God’s timing is always right.”
With his move away from the Sea Robbers having not materialised, Lorch understands there’s no time to sulk as he must steer the team away from troubled waters.
Coach Rhulani Mokwena - who took over from Micho Sredojevic, after two games of the new domestic season - will be banking on his team to register their first win in seven matches when they clash with Chippa United at home tomorrow (3pm).