Partying players worry Bucs boss
Pirates ship a party cruise - Some players have turned the players' residence in Buccleuch, Johannesburg, into a party haven
DISCIPLINE has given way to partying at Orlando Pirates. Despite a 2-1 win over Black Leopards in the Telkom KO at the weekend, coach Julio Leal is struggling to maintain order in the team.
Club insiders say the partying is part of the reason why the defending champions are experiencing tough times in the league.
Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza said of his partying players: "We can only pray for them."
A Pirates insider says some players have turned the players' residence in Buccleuch, Johannesburg, into a party haven.
The players' names are known to the Sowetan.
"The coach is too soft and he's struggling to call them to order. Everyone does their own thing and they are no longer the same since winning the treble last season," another informant told Sowetan.
"If they are partying, it's time for introspection on their part," Khoza said.
"They chose football as a career and if they don't have the intelligence to take care of themselves, then it's their problem. It's sad. They will want to come back to us, beg and blame us when they are beggars on the streets. You have to know the rules and the rule is to respect your profession.
"After winning a treble there will be a dip. And whenever there's a slump everyone is looking for a reason," Khoza added.
Pirates are eighth on the Absa Premiership log, with three wins in eight matches, scoring a mere six league goals in the process.
"Goals are not easy to come by - other teams have improved defensively," Khoza noted. "There's only one unique case where SuperSport (United) scored seven goals (in one match)."
The Bucs supremo added that he was confident in his technical team and hopeful they would turn the corner.
"I am not panicking and (am) giving the coach the space. Raising your voice does not necessarily enhance your coaching credentials. We have seen too many conductors on the touchlines like Paul Dolezar. Where are they now?"
Pirates's next league match is against returnees Jomo Cosmos at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
They face high flyers Moroka Swallows three days later.