Mngonyama relishes competition in Bucs ranks

New signing must fight for place with Tyson, Jele

Neville Khoza Journalist
Kwanda Mngonyama at Pirates training.
Kwanda Mngonyama at Pirates training.
Image: Orlando Pirates FC

Orlando Pirates’ new signing Kwanda Mngonyama is relishing the prospect of learning from the experience of Happy Jele, Thulani Hlatshwayo and Ntsikelelo Nyauza, and improving his game.

Mngonyama will fight for a place with the trio after he completed his move to the Buccaneers from Maritzburg United earlier this week, signing a three-year deal.

While many would be concerned about competing with those players, this is not the case for Mngonyama.

“With the experienced players we have, I feel I have a great opportunity to learn from them and improve my game,” Mngonyama told the club's official website.

“I know the opportunities will come. I just have to stay focused and keep fit.”

The versatile defender also expressed his excitement about joining the team he grew up supporting.

“Orlando Pirates is a club I grew up supporting and by the grace of God, He made it possible that I get the opportunity to be part of the club. So yeah, I’m looking forward to it.

“I got a warm welcome from the guys, which made me feel at home. Even though I can tell I’m in a different environment, I felt comfortable throughout.

“There are quite a few players who have been my teammates in the past. So, it was good to see some familiar faces.”

The 27-year-old, who was also on the books of Mamelodi Sundowns, Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City in the past, added that he would use the experience he gained with different clubs to help the Buccaneers when he gets his opportunity to play.

“I’ve gained quite a bit of experience with my stints at different clubs. I feel I’ve grown and learned a few things in the years since I played in Gauteng as a youngster,” he said.

“So, I’m happy to bring that experience and I feel I’ve arrived at Pirates at the right stage of my career.

“My favourite position is centre-back. I sometimes slot in at right-back, as well as the centre of the midfield but centre-back is where I’m most comfortable.”

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