ORLANDO Pirates have signed striker Thembinkosi "Terror" Fanteni on a one-year loan deal, the club revealed yesterday.
The deal, which includes an option to buy out the remainder of the player's contract with Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa next year, will add a new dimension to a Bucs side hoping to capture the elusive Absa Premiership title this season.
Fanteni's contract with Maccabi runs until 2011.
Bucs administrator Floyd Mbele unveiled Fanteni as their latest capture - their seventh for what promises to be the hardest season in Premiership history.
"It is going to be a dogfight. Our goal is to win the Premiership and as many cups as possible this season," said Mbele. "We jumped at the chance of signing Fanteni when we found out that he was available and he will add strength and compliment our attack. He is a tremendous talent and is available immediately to coach Ruud Krol."
Fanteni admitted that after finishing as Maccabi's leading goal scorer last season with 17 goals, he wanted to return home and play regularly for a leading PSL club in order to cement his place in the Bafana squad for the 2010 World Cup finals next June.
He said: "I had a disappointing tournament for Bafana in the Confederations Cup. I learnt the hard way from mistakes I made and wanted to come home and fight, not just for Pirates but for Bafana as well."
Fanteni, who has played 19 times for his country, struggled in the opening Confederations Cup Group A match against Iraq at Ellis Park that ended in a goalless stalemate and lost his place in the starting line-up as Bafana improved and finished fourth in the tournament.
The former Ajax Cape Town striker said he would love to make his debut for Bucs against his former club, Ajax, in the opening MTN8 Cup quarterfinal clash at Ellis Park tonight (kickoff is at 7.30).
But as he had only started training with Maccabi last Thursday, Krol is not likely to risk him in a crucial cup tie as he is not fully match fit.
Added Fanteni: "The reason I joined Pirates was because they are an ambitious (team) and I want to help them win trophies this season.
"I do not expect to walk (straight) into the side but I'm prepared to roll up my sleeves and fight for my place." - Sapa and additional reporting by Bongani Magasela