Eagles no mystery to Pirates

Happy Jele of Pirates.
Happy Jele of Pirates.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Orlando Pirates are confident that they know enough about their Zambian opponents to enable them to progress to the next round of the CAF Champions League.

The Buccaneers will square-off against Zambian side Green Eagles at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka on Saturday (3pm) in the first clash of the preliminary round of the premier African competition.

Since their opponents were announced two weeks ago, the Sea Robbers have been hard at work studying every detail of Eagles' game.

"We have been preparing very well and we are looking forward to go to Lusaka to play the CAF game," Pirates skipper Happy Jele said.

"We know the opponent very well and have been analysing them. All that is left now is to go there and do our best."

Last season, the Soweto giants missed out on the knockout stages by a whisker as they crashed out in the group phase.

It has been five seasons since the club last captured silverware. Jele concedes that delivering a trophy to the Bucs faithful is long overdue.

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"We are going to compete for everything. My job is to motivate the guys to put in more extra work.

"It's been a while without silverware at Pirates. I have some senior players in the team who are trying to motivate the other guys."

Bucs may fancy their chances because they've never been eliminated by a Zambian side in continental competitions, having met the likes of Mufulira Wanderers and Zanaco in the past.

Eagles also seem to lack the pedigree of popular Zambian outfits like Zesco United or Zanaco.

But Hot FM sports presenter and SuperSport TV commentator Makondo Mukando has warned the Buccaneers to tread carefully against Eagles, who are actually based in Choma, a market town and capital of the Southern Province of Zambia.

"They are coached by Aggrey Chiyangi, who's Zambia's interim coach and guided them to the Cosafa Cup title in SA [this year]," Mukando told Sowetan.

"Eagles have a lad called Spencer Sautu and he's played for the national team - a very talented boy. He can play in many positions but his preferred position is wide attacking, either on the left or right. He's deadly on set-pieces."

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