no joy for bucs

ORLANDO Pirates players have been promising to win the league title to repay their loyal supporters for the past six seasons but The Ghost will have to do without the championship again this season.

The Ghost last tasted a league title success in the 2002-2003 season.

Their supporters are wondering when it will happen again. This season The Ghost were convinced that the Buccaneers would finally wear the crown after losing the championship by a whisker last term.

They lost it by goal difference to SuperSport United, having finished the campaign on the same number of points. This prompted Pirates to promise to go all the way to win this season.

They made their intentions clear from the start with some breathtaking football and had pundits prematurely touting them for league glory.

Then it all came crashing down. It was no longer a case of winning but "finishing the season in a respectable position", as communications manager Mickey Modisane, who is also the World Cup Ellis Park venue coordinator, put it.

Many reasons were given for the poor results, such as the loss of form of key players like Teko Modise and Katlego Mashego, which some attributed to fatigue.

But even after the January break the duo still looked a shadow of their former selves. Only Andile Jali managed to shine.

Lying fifth on the log, Bucs will have to be at their best when they host AmaZulu at Orlando Stadium today at 8pm.

Usuthu have done well to haul themselves out of the relegation zone.

Though coach Neil Tovey has expressed disappointment because they have not been consistent, he has managed to lift the Durban club out of the quagmire.

Captain Pere Ariweriyai is suspended and Ntokozo Sikhakhane and Sthembiso Dlamini are likely to miss out again due to injury.

l Moroka Swallows host Ajax Cape Town at Olympia Park Stadium in another match at 8pm.