Phali feels Sandilands deserves to hang on to No.1 jersey

Ofori 'must wait for his chance' at Pirates

Neville Khoza Journalist
Richard Ofori has joined Orlando Pirates from Maritzburg United. He faces stiff competition from Bucs' no.1 goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.
Richard Ofori has joined Orlando Pirates from Maritzburg United. He faces stiff competition from Bucs' no.1 goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Avril Phali thinks new shot-stopper Richard Ofori must wait for his chance at the club as Wayne Sandilands has been on top of his game.

Pirates yesterday confirmed the signing of Ofori from Maritzburg United, where he was a first-choice goalie for the past two years.

Sandilands has made the No.1 jersey his own at the Buccaneers after keeping 12 clean sheets last season.

He also did well towards the end of the last campaign during the bio-bubble and kept a clean sheet as Pirates edged Cape Town City 1-0 in the MTN8 quarterfinal at the weekend.

Phali, who played for the Buccaneers between 2006 and 2007, says though Ofori will bring more stability in the goalkeeping department, he must wait for his chance.

“I think he must wait because Sandilands has been doing well. He is aware that if he can make a mistake, Ofori is around,” Phali told Sowetan yesterday.

“This is a good signing for Pirates. A goalkeeper is like a house foundation. If that foundation is not strong, then the house will not be proper.”

With Ofori having been a regular at the Team of Choice last season, it remains to be seen how coach Josef Zinnbauer will rotate the two stoppers. Will he stick with Sandilands, or will he throw the Ghanaian in immediately?

Phali doesn't think so. “Sandilands has been good but Ofori coming in now will make the competition healthier and increase their chances of winning the league. No-one will relax now, and he will put pressure on Sandilands. I’m happy with the signing,” Phali said.

Meanwhile, Ofori said he wants to be remembered as one of the players to have brought trophies to the club.

“We need to try to win things because to be here, I want to work but I can’t do it alone. We need to do it as a team. I know we can do a lot for the club,” he told Pirates' media department yesterday.

“Every player wants to win cups. Now I am a Pirates player and I need to bring something on board. That’s what people will remember you for.”

Maritzburg have earmarked Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse as a possible replacement for Ofori.

Ofori v Sandilands last season

Ofori: 28 league games (11 clean sheets), conceding 27 goals.

Sandilands: 27 league games (12 clean sheets), conceding 21 goals.

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