JOHANNESBURG – Thembinkosi Lorch, the on-form Orlando Pirates forward, is eager to impress senior national team coach Stuart Baxter.
Lorch is enjoying a purple patch that has seen him score three goals in three successive matches. He was on the scoresheet against Lamontville Golden Arrows this past weekend when Pirates defeated Abafana Bes’thende 2-1 in an Absa Premiership clash at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu.
Prior to this match against Arrows, Lorch had also found the back of the net against Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa United.
Speaking to the media after the Arrows game, Lorch revealed his desire to impress Baxter in the Four Nations tournament that kicks off on Thursday in Zambia. Bafana play Angola while Zambia will clash with Zimbabwe. The winners face off on Sunday.
“I haven’t changed my style. The only difference is that at the beginning things didn’t go our way. But I am scoring now. I have been playing like this the whole season.
The national team call up didn’t surprise me, I was expecting it. If the coach gives me the opportunity to play, I want to make sure that I play well. I won’t play for myself but I will be putting the team ahead of me. I want to get regular Bafana call-ups in future,” Lorch explained.
Baxter will use the Four Nations to prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers which will begin in September.
Lorch has scored four goals this season from the six starts as well as seven substitute appearances he has made.
“I still need to improve on my finishing. I want to score more goals,” Lorch elaborated.
The Free State-born forward can operate in several positions. He can play as a No 10 or on both wings but he prefers playing behind the strikers.
“I’m happy with the position I’m operating in right now. I love to play as the No 10,” Lorch said.
His team are now one point behind Mamelodi Sundowns. Pirates have collected 42 points in 24 league outings. Sundowns are one game behind because of their Caf Champions League schedule.
“We are now together as the team. We are fighting for each other. The technical team brought that spirit into the team. It is important to play for the badge and the supporters because we didn’t do well last season. We have to redeem our pride.
Our focus is not on the league. For now we don’t want the league. Our focus is on improving from last season.
“Yes, the fans are starting to believe that we can win the league but us as players we are trying to improve our performances from last season. We don’t want to talk about the league at the moment,” Lorch stated.