Absa Premiership

Bucs upbeat and raring to go

2014-08-08 10:31
Vladimir Vermezovic (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - In his five months since taking over at the helm, Orlando Pirates coach Vladimir Vermezovic has already left his imprint, invigorating a side he found in a desolate state.

The Serbian-born mentor has a perfect two-out-of-two record in cup competitions with the Soweto giants, having steered them to victory in the Nedbank Cup at the end of the season and more recently in the Carling Black Label Cup, beating bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs.

"I have a group of players who finished the season on a high and I hope that they can continue in the upcoming season," Vermezovic said.

After his appointment earlier in the year, he took charge of a Pirates team which had reached three major cup finals in their previous season and were losers in all. The dejected and listless bunch of players had come off second best in the MTN8, Telkom Knockout and Caf Champions League.

A few months later, the rejuvenated Pirates are set to open their Premiership campaign with a mouth-watering Soweto derby against Moroka Swallows at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

"I have said before that I am very pleased with how the players have performed in the pre-season camp. I am very happy because we didn't have any serious injuries.

"The players are ready - it is a good squad and the players have played together."

Earlier in the transfer window, Vermezovic had indicated his desire to rope in a few new faces to give some competition to his squad.

So far, the Buccaneers have made two major acquisitions in the form of midfielders Thabo Qalinge, from Mpumalanga Black Aces, and Issa Sarr from Platinum Stars.

In contrast to the way their hosts fared over the last couple of months, opponents Swallows had a sustained period draped in misfortune.

The sleeping Soweto juggernauts just scrapped through last season's Premiership, managing to finish in position 13 and only three points adrift of the relegation zone.

And, during the pre-season, Swallows were hammered 5-0 by defending league champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the Gauteng Football Cup in Atteridgeville.

The demolition left coach Zeca Marques searching for answers, and with a pile of work to do before the start of the season.

"I think I'm happy that we got exposed, because it is the wake-up call," Marques said.

"For our new players, it's a baptism of fire and a wake-up call to South African football. We can work and reflect on what went wrong."

The Dube Birds have signed an unknown trio of European players in Obren Cuckovic, Vladimir Mandic and Boris Savic.


NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

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
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Free State Stars v SuperSport United, Goble Park 19:30
Mamelodi Sundowns v Maritzburg United, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
Friday, 15 December 2017
Cape Town City FC v AmaZulu FC, Cape Town Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 15:30
Chippa United v Polokwane City, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Free State Stars v Orlando Pirates, Goble Park 18:00
Wits v Platinum Stars, Bidvest Stadium 20:15
Kaizer Chiefs v Ajax Cape Town, Moses Mabhida Stadium 20:15
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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