Pirates put faith in Mayambela
ORLANDO Pirates have shown confidence in dribbling wizard Mark “Professor” Mayambela by registering him as part of their squad for the African Champions League.
Mayambela, who was on the wanted list of Chippa United, is on the 27-man squad submitted to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) last week by the double treble champions.
Also in the team is rising star Lehlogonolo Masalesa who was reportedly linked to big spenders Mamelodi Sundowns. Pirates start their campaign with a home game against Comoros league champions FC Djabal.
The game is likely to be played at Orlando Stadium on February 16 or 17. Pirates are expected to announce the venue for the game this week, but Times Media has been informed it will be played in Johannesburg.
Bucs captain Lucky Lekgwathi said they have been using the 29th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations finals break to prepare for the continental club championship, which was won by Egyptian giants Al Ahly last year.
“We are hard at training here in Johannesburg and have been playing friendlies to ensure that we are in great shape, everything is going well and we really want to do well in the African Champions League campaign.
“The African Champions League is one title that we owe to chairman Dr Irvin Khoza and our supporters. I have made it clear I want to win it before I can even think of hanging up my soccer boots.
“We want to emulate the Class of 1995 of Jerry Sikhosana, John Moeti, Edward Motale, Gavin Lane, Mark Fish, Tebogo Moloi, Williams Okpara and many others by winning the African Champions League too.
“We have a solid team of experienced campaigners like Benni McCarthy, Thabo Matlaba, Oupa Manyisa, Siyabonga Sangweni, Andile Jali and others to make South Africa proud by winning the continental title,” said Lekgwathi, who has been with Pirates for 11 years.
The Champions League squad is:
Goalkeepers: Moeneeb Josephs, Senzo Meyiwa, Brighton Mhlongo
Defenders: Lucky Lekgwathi, Siyabonga Sangweni, Ayanda Gcaba, Patrick Phungwayo, Bheki Nzunga, Happy Jele, Thabo Matlaba
Midfielders: Lehlogonolo Masalesa, Onyekachi Okonkwo, Khethokwake Masuku, Mpho Makola, Andile Jali, Daine Klate, Oupa Manyisa, Rudolf Bester, Sifiso Myeni, Mark Mayambela, Thandani Ntshumayelo, Tlou Segolela
Forwards: Thulasizwe Mbuyane, Takesure Chinyama, Collins Mbesuma, Benni McCarthy, Ndumiso Mabena