Buccaneers feel rudderless

2014-10-27 21:18
Senzo Meyiwa (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - It was an unusual sight to see an Orlando Pirates team as quiet as the one that assembled at the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg on Monday morning.

This came after Senzo Meyiwa was shot dead in an alleged robbery in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, the previous night.

The venue was meant to be used for the first training session ahead of the scheduled Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday, but instead was turned into a place of remembrance for the team's fallen captain.

The anticipated derby has since been postponed by the Premier Soccer League until further notice.

After a press conference at the stadium, the players drifted outside but not much was said among them. Instead, the teary-eyed team-mates were in a pensive mood, trying to make sense of it all.

With their captain having been senselessly murdered, there was no pep talk to speak of - the leaderless bunch appeared lost and bewildered.

Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza tried to console them to with little effect.

"In these difficult time we need to stand together and honour the legacy of Senzo.

"He has left his mark and it's up to us now to continue in his name," Khoza said.

The club boss said to honour the goalkeeper, his number one club jersey would be retired.

"No one can replace Senzo. And his jersey will never be worn by anyone else again."

The Pirates boss was set to fly to Umlazi, south-west of Durban, on Monday afternoon to meet the Meyiwa family.

"The family will direct us on how to move forward with the funeral arrangements. The funeral is most likely going to be at the weekend," Khoza said.

Meyiwa joined the Pirates academy as a 13-year-old.

He broke through the ranks into the first team but for years played second fiddle to other goalkeepers.

After patiently biding his time, Meyiwa asserted himself as the first choice keeper in 2011 and eventually captained his club side.

His leadership credentials also led to him becoming Bafana Bafana captain and first choice goalkeeper under new coach Shakes Mashaba after initially replacing the injured Itumeleng Khune.

In his final match, Meyiwa guided Pirates to a 4-1 win over Ajax Cape Town in the Telkom Knockout quarter-final on Saturday at the Orlando Stadium.

Read more on:    orlando pirates  |  psl  |  senzo meyiwa  |  johannesburg  |  soccer

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