Pirates conclude Erasmus deal

2013-07-23 09:06
Kermit Erasmus (Gallo)
Johannesburg - SuperSport United have confirmed Kermit Erasmus has left the club and signed a three-year deal with Soweto giants Orlando Pirates.

The move was announced on Tuesday after the 23-year-old striker - who had been with United since the age of 12 - openly discussed his desire to leave the Pretoria side, giving Matsatsantsa no choice but to allow the former South Africa Under-20 star to find a new club.

"With mixed feelings, I can announce that Kermit has agreed to join Orlando Pirates," said SuperSport United director of football Stan Matthews.

"We've had lengthy discussions for a long time about Kermit's future. We've watched him grow from a small young boy, into a small young man, but a big person and a big player.

"We've been exceptionally proud of Kermit and his development within our youth academy."

Matthews added that newly appointed coach Cavin Johnson had been excited at the prospect of working with Erasmus, but the player felt he had to move on, in order to embark on a new challenge.

"Once Cavin was appointed, we hoped and we thought that maybe Kermit would have a change of heart and give the new coach an opportunity to work with him," Matthews said.

"It's well known that Kermit had a year left on his contract. As a club, we did not have a lot of options. We are not the kind of club that locks players in so that other teams can't have them."

Erasmus was hailed as one of the country's finest prospects at the age of 18, when he secured a move to Dutch side Feyenoord, before returning to United in 2010, following an unsettled two-year stint in the Netherlands.

"I've been with the club for a long time. I've only known SuperSport," Erasmus said.

"I'm looking forward to embarking on this new adventure in my career. I have to get myself playing regularly and break into the national team. I think this move to Pirates will open that door for me."

Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza was delighted to have Erasmus in the Buccaneers setup.

"Reinforcement of the team's firepower is crucial for our success this season," Khoza said.

Meanwhile, SuperSport confirmed the signing of experienced Bloemfontein Celtic midfielder Kurt Lentjies on a long-term deal.

"I would like to stay at SuperSport for a long time. I would like to establish myself and play regular football every week," Lentjies said.

"Yes I've played for a number of teams, but I'm hoping that I'll stay here long enough."

The Cape Town born Lentjies had previously played for Maritzburg United and SuperSport's fierce rivals, Mamelodi Sundowns, before moving to Bloemfontein.

Lentjies felt he had matured as a player since leaving Sundowns three years ago, and was eager to make his mark with Matsatsantsa, who had been active in the transfer market, having already secured the signatures of Thuso Phala, Bennett Chenene and David Mathebula.

"Coach Cavin… I'd really like to work under him. I had offers from other teams, but when the calling of SuperSport United came along, it was very easy for me to decide," he said.

Goalkeeper coach Alex Heredia would also join United, the club confirmed.

"He's a Fifa instructor as a goalie coach," Matthews said.

"He has coached and is currently still coaching with Bafana Bafana. We're extremely excited about what Alex can bring."


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