JOHANNESBURG - Orlando Pirates could unleash a young Zambian striker on Saturday at Peter Mokaba Stadium in their PSL clash with Polokwane City.
Despite their positive start, the Buccaneers have struggled to find the back of the net regularly. The Soweto club is yet to score more than one goal in a single game, with just four goals from six matches.
Thamsanqa Gabuza and young Lyle Forster are yet to click as an attacking unit that lost its best scorer in Tendai Ndoro just before the transfer window closed, but Pirates look to have found Ndoro’s replacement in 20-year-old Justin Shonga.
“If you go to our training session (on Wednesday), there is a new player who is there,” Pirates chairman, Irvin Khoza said on Tuesday at Orlando Stadium.
“I will give you just his first name, Justin. He is a striker. If he adjusts well, he will be playing this weekend, I think... We are forever trying to energise the team because we know that the job of the coach and the assistant coach are difficult ones.
"There are a lot of expectations. It’s going to be difficult for them, but we must give them the necessary support. We are now building a team. It’s not going to be easy this year, but we are hoping for the best. Maybe next year we will see the results of the good foundation they have started.”
Shonga was on the radar of a number of South African clubs including the reigning African champions Mamelodi Sundowns, AmaZulu and Baroka FC. The Zambian is a talented supporting striker who is already making a name for himself at Chipolopolo. The Buccaneers need all the enforcement they can get upfront if they are to maintain their positive start and move away from the disappointment of last season.
While the Buccaneers want to forget last season, SuperSport United are building on their run from the last campaign which sees them now in the semi-finals of the Caf Confederation Cup.
Matsatsantsa coach Eric Tinkler will face a familiar foe in a Tunisian team standing between himself and continental glory. In 2015 with Pirates, Tinkler lost to Etoile du Sahel in the final of the Confederation Cup.
This time around his team has to go past Club Africain to reach the final, starting at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the first leg where entrance is free for those wearing blue.
“What defines a coach is their work ethic,” Khoza said. “The coach in Tinkler and the coach we have now, 'Micho' (Milutin Sredojevic), have good work ethics. That’s why we brought Micho back because when he was here the first time, he displayed the work ethic that we needed because you can’t motivate people when you are sluggish yourself. Tinkler is hands on.
"That’s why it wasn’t easy for me to let him go. I wanted to maintain him in the team, but he got a very good offer. I am happy that he is doing well. It shows that my selection of him wasn’t misplaced. It was a good choice, but the supporters were impatient. A lot of people are impatient. We see things that people don’t see. I saw something in Tinkler that not many people saw.”