Mako fighting for right to start

Orlando Pirates left winger Paseka Mako faces an intense contest from teammates. /Veli Nhlapo
Orlando Pirates left winger Paseka Mako faces an intense contest from teammates. /Veli Nhlapo

It's that time of the season when teams are looking at their players to step up for different reasons.

For Paseka Mako of Orlando Pirates, he's part of the squad out to win the Absa Premiership and the Nedbank Cup, while they are also campaigning in the CAF Champions League.

Firstly, Bucs have a difficult trip to Limpopo where they face Black Leopards in the last 32 of the Nedbank Cup, at Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday (6pm), and Mako is in line to start.

The 24-year-old arrived at Bucs from Chippa United seven months ago and despite playing 18 matches in all competitions this season, he's not made a big impact yet.

Mako, who hails from Zebediela, Limpopo, is ready to take his game a level up, as Leopards are next in line for the Soweto giants.

"There are good players here and I have to fight," Mako reflected after the 1-1 draw against Baroka at Orlando Stadium in midweek.

"For the Man of the Match award, it means a lot to me, because it's been long that I played. I thank the coaches for having faith in me."

For Mako, though, winning a regular spot in the side is easier said than done. The likes of Vincent Pule, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Thembinkosi Lorch and Luvuyo Memela are among the players capable of playing at left wing.

"You have to play your part to help the team. It's not for me, but the badge," Mako said.

Meanwhile, Bucs mentor Micho Sredojevic had some words of encouragement for Mako, but warned him that the competition for places is tough.

"There's strong competition with at least three players per position in the team. Everyone is fighting and there's no time relax or think that your place is guaranteed," stated Micho.

"With Paseka, he's knocked on the door with his performance (against Baroka)."

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