Thabo Matlaba of Orlando Pirates during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Baroka FC . Photo: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – He has been one of the stalwarts for Orlando Pirates over the years, and now Thabo Matlaba has been rewarded for his efforts.

The 29-year-old left back was named as the club captain for the Buccaneers on Saturday morning, just hours before their Absa Premiership opener against Chippa United at Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening (6pm kickoff).

Matlaba – who joined the Soweto giants in 2012 from Free State Stars – takes over from Oupa Manyisa, the former Pirates talisman who has moved on to Mamelodi Sundowns.

Another defender in Abbubaker Mobara was named as the Pirates vice-captain.

“Some of the most influential captains to wear the armband for the Mighty Buccaneers over the years include Lucky Lekgwathi (who is arguably the most successful Pirates captain of all time), Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba, Innocent Mncwango and Nick Seshweni,” Pirates said in a statement on their website.

Matlaba will hope to engineer a turnaround at the club after a disastrous last season, where they ended 11th in the league and lost 4-1 in the Nedbank Cup final to SuperSport United.

Swede Kjell Jonevret resigned a few weeks ago, so Matlaba will join forces with new coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic of Serbia, who has begun his second spell at Pirates.


IOL Sport

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