Sandilands will bide his time battling for Orlando Pirates' place in the posts

04 August 2018 - 10:30
By Tiyani Wa Ka Mabasa
Wayne Sandilands of Orlando Pirates.
Image: Steve Haag/BackpagePix Wayne Sandilands of Orlando Pirates.

Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands has fallen down the pecking order‚ but he’s been in the game long enough to know not to throw in the towel.

From his days at Silver Stars‚ where he made his debut in the 2004-05 season‚ Sandilands remains in the top-flight‚ and hugely experienced‚ at 34.

His move from Mamelodi Sundowns to Pirates last year was welcomed by the Buccaneers’ faithful.

Imagine their appreciation for Sandilands when he kept four clean sheets in his first five Absa Premiership matches‚ and conceded just one.

But soon Sandilands would battle an Achilles tendon injury and later on had to nurse his finger and subsequently missed 19 PSL matches.

“I obviously want to build on the start that I had [last season]. It was [later on] a difficult season with injuries‚” Sandilands said.

“I’m just looking forward to the upcoming season and knowing that the hard work still lies ahead. I’m looking forward to improving and add to the history of the club.”

The Benoni-born shotstopper will battle it out with Siyabonga Mpontshane‚ Jackson Mabongwane and Brilliant Khuzwayo for that elusive lone position between the posts. Though‚ new signing Brilliant Khuzwayo will have to wait a little longer for his debut due to an injury.

“Now that it’s the new season the past is gone. It’s a matter of working on the road ahead‚” Sandilands said.

Khuzwayo has been ruled out for “three to four weeks”‚ the club has said‚ needing ankle surgery‚ meaning he will not be available for Pirates’ opening Absa Premiership home fixture against Highlands Park at Orlando Stadium at 8.15pm on Saturday.

The Buccaneers have revealed that although the former Kaizer Chiefs keeper’s injury is not serious‚ his treatment is more of a corrective measure to allow the player to endure a pain-free season with the team.

Khuzwayo will see an orthopaedic surgeon this week to remove screws in his ankle and to have a scope performed.

Attacking midfielders Thabo Qalinge and Thembinkosi Lorch will also miss a few of the opening matches of the season due to injuries.