Pirates coach Sredojevic says he has enough personnel to deal with injured Khuzwayo's absence

Orlando Pirates' goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo, pictured during a training session at Rand Stadium south of Johannesburg, has been ruled out of action for up to three to four weeks, the club confirmed on Wednesday August 1 2018.
Orlando Pirates' goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo, pictured during a training session at Rand Stadium south of Johannesburg, has been ruled out of action for up to three to four weeks, the club confirmed on Wednesday August 1 2018.
Image: Orlando Pirates FC/Twitter

Orlando Pirates have three goalkeepers in sharp condition vying for the club’s position between the posts in the absence of Brilliant Khuzwayo for Bucs’ opening Absa Premiership game against Highlands Park‚ coach Milutin Sredojevic has said.

Pirates announced this week that new signing from Kaizer Chiefs Khuzwayo will need ankle surgery and be out for almost a month‚ missing the beginning of Bucs’ 2018-19 campaign.

The keeping department has been an issue for Bucs over the past few seasons‚ but Sredojevic said that new goalkeeper-coach from Premier League Swansea City‚ Andrew Sparkes‚ has Pirates’ glove men in top condition.

“Goalkeeping is a department that is important and crucial to us. Because we know very well that in any season goalkeepers usually bring 12 to 15 points‚” Pirates’ coach said.

“And I could say that we have really strengthened our goalkeeping department. From the point of coaching‚ where Andrew Sparkes has really sparked that department.

“From his methodology‚ and approach on the field and off the field‚ attention to the smallest details‚ analysing‚ looking to make the keepers mentally strong – which is really important for goalkeepers.

“Also looking to make them physically fit for whatever they need‚ because the goalkeeping department has a different range of movements and fitness readiness.

“Then‚ technically and tactically he has also been making them ready for the game model we are playing‚ where the goalkeeper needs to be like a playmaker. He has done a tremendous job with the players.

“Regretfully Brilliant Khuzwayo had a problem and he went for that intervention that will keep him out for some time. We hope he recovers as soon as possible to fight for his place.

“Regarding the goalkeepers who we have‚ they are used to our game model. They have worked very hard.

“And if we as coaches talk about the outfield players‚ we are having a very big problem to decide who will be the first XI for the first game.

“But if anyone has the problem‚ at goalkeeper there are three serious competitors – Jackson Mabokgwane‚ Wayne Sandilands and Siyabonga Mpontshane. They all are almost at the same level.”

Pirates finished runners-up in 2017-18. Highlands are newly-promoted back to the PSL having won the National First Division convincingly last season.

They meet at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night (kickoff: 8.15pm).

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