Pirates raid Ermelo

Richard Nkosi

Richard Nkosi

Orlando Pirates will be determined to appease their loyal followers in Mpumalanga this weekend.

Bucs invade Ermelo on Sunday to face the Gert Sibande Invitation XI at the local Swanepoel Stadium at 3pm.

Teko Modise and Bennet Chenene are in Europe for the friendly between Bafana Bafana and Italy on Wednesday, while Innocent Mdledle and Excellent Walaza are doing duty for the national under-23 team.

But Pirates' spokesman Mickey Modisane promised yesterday that the rest of the Bucs squad will be in Ermelo.

He said the game presents a good opportunity for new coach Owen da Gama to assess and evaluate each player before he can make some recommendations.

Bucs are fresh from a practice match against University of Pretoria, which they won 3-0 on Wednesday.

"Owen is looking at trimming the squad to a manageable size, hence we are involved in a series of friendly games," said Modisane. "The coach is utilising the friendly games to asses the progress of the players he wants ahead of our must-win league encounter against Bloemfontein Celtic."

With players like Joseph Makhanya, Tlou Segolela, Jorry Merahe and Paulos Masehe eager to impress Da Gama, fans are in for a treat.

Pirates will be back in business next Friday when they host current Absa Premiership log leaders Celtic at Ellis Park Stadium.

Modisane is calling all the Buccaneers faithful in Mpumalanga to "come out in large numbers to see how the team shapes up".

Tau "Mkhari" Nkosi, the Invitation team's coach," said: "The game to us is to expose the players and, who knows, maybe some might end up impressing the Pirates technical staff."

Dangerous Darkies masters and their Gert Sibande counterparts feature in the curtain raiser at 12 noon.