Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza has confirmed that the club will release a number of players to reduce their squad.
The Buccaneers have been busy during the current transfer period, signing nine new players.
Pirates signed Brilliant Khuzwayo, Abel Mabaso, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Paseka Mako, Linda Mntambo, Asavela Mbekile, Vincent Pule, Ben Motshwari and Meshack Maphangule.
“We have to reduce our squad. That is a given but we will make a proper announcement as to who is staying and who is leaving,” Khoza told IOL.
Asked if they were done in the market, Khoza said: “I don’t know.”
Bucs are expected to release the likes of Thamsanqa Gabuza, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Nkosinathi Mthiyane, Thabo Matlaba, Phetso Maphanga, Issa Sarr, Mpho Makola and Wayne Sandilands, who all struggled for game time last season.
Defender Ayanda Gcaba says he’s ready to move on from Orlando Pirates and find his feet again at a new club.
The club has been his home for six years and he didn’t want to leave – but if he had to be honest, the writing was on the wall. Ayanda Gcaba had been benched for most of the season, he and coach Milutin Sredojevic´ reportedly didn’t see eye to eye and Orlando Pirates had just signed nine new players, so radical change was clearly afoot.
And yes, the 32-year-old defender admits, he’d been unhappy at Bucs – but that doesn’t mean he was ready to leave. He did his best to stay positive and give his best “but it became stressful because I felt sidelined”.
Ayanda asked if he could be loaned to Platinum Stars this season and his side agreed. He was excited and relieved to be back on the field, he says. “I wanted to play for Pirates but that wasn’t happening. I’m not sure what will happen now I’m leaving but I’m confident about my game and I know this isn’t the end for me.”
He’s a believer in the saying that when one door closes, another opens – and at the time of going to print it was reported Free State Stars were keen on him.
“He’s a true professional and has been in the game for a while now,” a source close to the club told The Citizen. “He will add value to the club.”
He doesn’t know exactly why he got the chop, he adds, but he’s accepted it and he’s going to focus on his training to get back on the pitch as quickly as possible.
“I know what I need to work on and what my coach told me was lacking. I was told that at times I play too many long balls and I don’t look for the nearest player. They said I needed to get my passing accuracy right because at times it’s sloppy.
“They aren’t the first people to tell me this, and I appreciate the constructive criticism. I don’t only play to please myself. I am working on those crutches.”
Going to play for Platinum Stars was to prove a point “that I am a good footballer, and I still have what it takes to have a good career in football”.
He’ll always treasure his time with Orlando Pirates and has plenty of highlights, including playing at the Fifa Confederations Cup and Uefa Champions League, when Bucs travelled the African continent to see how other nations played soccer. “Going to other countries opened my mind. Football is played differently there – they play to international standards and that’s something South African players can learn from. Here we like to play kasi style and do tricks, whereas their aim is to eliminate players and score goals.”