Milutin Sredojevic attempts to downplay rumours of players facing Pirates exit
Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has‚ for now‚ allayed fears that there could be an exodus of players from the Buccaneers camp following the acquisition of nine players this week.
Players who did not feature last season are believed to be on the way out and speculation over their future heightened after the signing of former Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo‚ Golden Arrows attacking winger Kudakwashe Mahachi and Sundown’s utility player Asavela Mbekile‚ among others.
But Sredojevic said no such decision has been made at the club other than the release of out of contract defender Ayanda Gcaba‚ who ended last season on loan to relegated Platinum Stars.
“All I can say is I wish to welcome the newcomers‚" the Serbian told SowetanLIVE hours after returning to SA from “a working holiday” in Europe.
"They need to prove that they are valuable additions to the team.
“Players that are already in the team need be on their toes because the players that are coming will give them a strong push in competition for a place in the starting line-up.”
Pirates finished second on the log and qualified for Caf’s Champions League last season.
The other players signed by Bucs this week were the Wits duo of Vincent Pule and Ben Motswari‚ Black Leopards’ Meshack Maphungule and Chippa United’s trio of Linda Mntambo‚ Paseka Mako and Abel Mabaso.
After these signings were confirmed‚ there was uncertainty over the future of Bucs stalwarts‚ including Issa Sarr‚ Thabo Matlaba and Mpho Makola.
Thamsanqa Sangweni‚ who was signed with much expectation last year from Chippa‚ who are proving to be Bucs’ relaible feeder team‚ was placed among those on their way out.
Micho‚ as Sredojevic is known‚ dismissed all that talk.
“First all those players are highly respected in our team for the great service they have rendered to the team‚" he said.
“We shall not communicate through the media about their future. All the players are still firmly part of Pirates.
“That is just speculation because we have not made the decision about those who are proving to be surplus to our requirement.”