Orlando Pirates quartet Bongani Sam, Gabadinho Mhango, Zakhele Lepasa and Fortune Makaringe has opened up about their first experience of playing in the Soweto derby.
The Buccaneers defeated arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 at the FNB Stadium on Saturday to claim bragging rights in the first instalment of the Soweto derby this season.
Pirates will now head into their opening Absa Premiership encounter against Bloemfontein Celtic high in confidence after claiming their fifth Carling Black Label Cup trophy.
When asked about debuting in their first Soweto derby, Sam, Mhango, Lepasa and Makaringe replied:
Sam: ‘Wow, what an occasion! It’s difficult to explain what emotions I was going through, but I do know that I was nervous, almost afraid. Getting on to the pitch and having my first touch calmed me down a little bit, but the nerves didn’t leave me until I left the field because I’ve always wanted to play in the derby.’
Mhango: ‘For me it was a great feeling, a great moment. Playing for Pirates is massive because it’s the biggest team in the country and being part of the Soweto derby is a dream come true. Every player watches this game and wants to play in it.’
Lepasa: ‘It was a nice feeling to be part of the squad, and even better to get on to the field. I was so excited when I got the chance to play. As a young player I felt very welcomed by the other players, they made it easy for me to fit in. We all know how big this game is, so to participate in it is something you can never forget. I’m really happy about getting that chance.’
Makaringe: ‘It was a top feeling, I really enjoyed myself in the game. I want to say a big thank you to all the football fans who voted for me to participate in this game. Having grown up supporting Pirates, the biggest feeling for me was that of joy because when I got on to the field for the first time in this important game, I did it representing all the other young boys from the township who grow up supporting this team and watching this game. It’s the realisation of a dream to play in a game that we are always watching. I’m very pleased with that.’
The match at the Orlando Stadium kicks off at 6pm.
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