Makaringe has no designs on being a superhero
JOHANNESBURG – Fortune Makaringe is not interested in being a superhero for Orlando Pirates during their current slump, insisting that he is part of a brigade that is working hard to return the team back to its lofty billing.
There has been a sombre atmosphere that has engulfed Pirates since the start of the season, who have fallen from the dizzy heights of being tipped as PSL title contenders to a team that is fighting to challenge for a spot in the top three. A large reason for the gloom was the abrupt resignation of coach Micho Sredojevic, who has since left the heavy burden on the shoulders of his assistant Rhulani Mokwena.
The 32-year-old coach has huffed and puffed, searching for a remedy but instead has had a roller coaster of a ride while in charge. However, there are players who have fought for Mokwena and the club badge. One player who quickly comes to mind is Makaringe.
The attacking midfielder, and die-hard Pirates fan, took his game up a notch when his team crashed out of the quarter-finals of the Telkom Knockout to foes Kaizer Chiefs last week. And it is why “the Ghost” will be looking at him to lead them to the Promised Land when the Soweto derby round two brings South Africa to a standstill at FNB Stadium tomorrow.
“For me, it’s not a personal thing because I understand that I am a Buccaneer. So, it’s all about the whole Orlando Pirates team and my teammates,” Makaringe said.
“For me to be in this team and with my brothers that are supporting me, means a lot. The harmony of supporting one another, it’s something that we have. It’s about the whole team (rather) than personal reasons.”
The fact that Makaringe has worn his heart on his sleeve, hasn’t only made him a fan favourite, but he has also been top of Mokwena’s list this season, playing 11 domestic matches since joining from Maritzburg United at the end of last season.
The meteoric rise of Makaringe has recently seen him partner either Linda Mntambo or Ben Motshwari in midfield, while last season’s regulars Xola Mlambo and Musa Nyatama have been kicking their heels in the stands.
Far from getting carried away though, Makaringe says he is on form because of the support he has received from his teammates.
“It’s been an honour and privilege to play alongside these great footballers because each one of them comes with a different element and that complements the style of the team. The confidence lies within the whole team and that’s where I gain my confidence,” Makaringe said.
Last week against Chiefs, Makaringe started alongside Motshwari, forming a combination that ensured Pirates took the game to extra time.
However, with tomorrow’s encounter a league match, there is no assurance whether the duo will start together, but Mokwena will know that he has to do anything to win and buy himself time.@Mihlalibaleka