Cape Town - Orlando Pirates striker Thamsanqa Gabuza says he has no point to prove to supporters, but admits he will do his utmost to make big impact in Bucs' strikeforce in the 2016/17 season.
Gabuza came under fire from Bucs supporters last season for missing goalscoring chances. The striker's frustration subsequently prompted him to perform an inciteful gesture to the team's fans after scoring against Free State Stars in the last season's Nedbank Cup semi-final clash. But the Ladysmith-born forward later apologised to Bucs' faithful following the incident.
"I have nothing against Pirates supporters, and they have nothing against me too. The proof of that is the fact they voted in the Carling Cup, and I was in the starting line-up in a Soweto Derby against Chiefs.
"That's a clear indication that Bucs supporters still have faith in me. So, I have no point to prove to anyone next season, but to do my utmost to make a big impact in team's attack and help my team challenge for titles," Gabuza told Vodacom Soccer.
The 28-year-old strongly-built marksman has also featured as a substitute in Bucs' team in two recent pre-season tournaments, the Dr Hage Geingob Cup and Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup.
With newly-appointed coach Muhsin Ertugral at the helm, and the addition of strikers Thabiso Kutumela and Bernard Morrison in the off-season, Gabuza admits the competition for starting berth will be tougher than ever.
"When I joined Pirates I knew very well what to expect in a team of Pirates' calibre, where competition for a starting line-up is the order of the day. So, ya, I know the competition will be tight for a starting line-up with new strikers having been signed.
"But I'm ready to face a challenge and fight my way into the team's starting XI, come the first match of the PSL season next week," enthused Gabuza, who scored three goals in 16 starts and four substitute appearances in all competitions last term.
Bucs will host Golden Arrows in their 2016/17 Absa Premiership opener on Wednesday at Orlando Stadium, with the kick-off set for 19:30.