Mark Gleeson

Pirates must shop for success

2012-05-21 11:34
Sport24 columnist Mark Gleeson (File)
Orlando Pirates made a lot of noise about doing well in the African Champions League this year and then flopped dramatically at the very first hurdle.

Their defeat to Recreativo Libolo was embarrassing for the club in its 75th birthday celebration year, as Pirates sought to stretch their trophy winning aspirations wider than just the South African football scene.

It effectively cost Julio Cesar Leal his job and posed some stark questions about South African league football’s progress over the years and the competitive spirit of domestic players.

It also came not long after an even more embarrassing elimination in the same competition two years previously - losing at the first hurdle to the minnows of Gaborone United.

But those are the negatives. The positives are that at least at long last someone came out and set a goal of doing well in African competition.

Finally a team made clear its sights are fixed higher than just the parochial ambitions that living on the bottom tip of the continent unfortunately seem to blinker our players with.

Achieving success in the Champions League has to be the ultimate aim for any South African club and 20 years of ambivalence about pan-African competition has not been a credit to this country.

Pirates might have had Angolan egg all over their faces but at least they showed some vision.

It is good, therefore, that they get another chance to participate in the Champions League next year.

Pirates will again represent the country in 2013, their success in the Premier Soccer League on Saturday securing their berth.

They have time to plan and they need to strengthen their squad now rather than later for the travails that lie ahead.

Registration of players for the 2013 Champions League happens in December, so any purchases made in the January 2013 transfer window will be ineligible.

Key is to shop now and to have a squad that is set to do service for the next 18 months, not the next year, nor the next six months.

It will need some judicious buying and some long term planning - two skills South African clubs seem woefully inept at.

PSL clubs always moan that they don’t do well in African competition because the registration dates are out of kilter with their own timelines but it is the same for clubs in the top achieving countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Ghana. And they seem to manage just fine.

Pirates will also have hopefully learnt other lessons too, like playing their home games at altitude rather than go for money from the Port Elizabeth municipality.

Taking their Libolo and Gaborone matches to the Windy City put financial considerations ahead of sporting ones - and that is never a good thing.

Mark Gleeson is a respected television commentator and Editorial Director of Mzanzi Football.

Disclaimer:
Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Read more on:    psl  |  mark gleeson  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

All change at wing for Boks

2014-11-24 08:27

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Nicole is the cover girl for the 2014 edition of SA Swimsuit! Check out some smoking hot pics of here here.

 
 

Men24.com

11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!
Thirty and still single? There’s hope!
 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Who would you like to see start in the No 10 jersey for the Springboks at next year's Rugby World Cup?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.