Pirates confirm six new players

2012-06-25 14:05

Johannesburg - Onekachi Okonkwo was among six new signings unveiled by Orlando Pirates chairperson Irvin Khoza in Johannesburg on Monday.

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This will be the Nigerian international's second spell with the Buccaneers, having left the club in 2007 for a career in Switzerland and Qatar.

"We have had protected discussions over the last six months with the player," Khoza said on the surprise signing of the midfielder.

"With Isaac Chansa leaving [for China], we felt that it was important to replace him in that position.

"We hope he [Okonkwo] can give us the same football that he gave us the last time he was here."

Other new signings announced by last season's treble winners were Free State Stars duo Ayanda Gcaba and Manti Moholo, along with Patrick Phungwayo from Wits.

The club also bolstered their youth with Khethowakhe Masuku from Black Leopards and Siya Mngoma from newly-promoted University of Pretoria.

All six players signed three-year contracts with Pirates but Khoza declined to go into further detail.

"We can't reveal secrets... we are still the best in the [transfer] market," Khoza said.

"Those who desire happiness and success must be prepared for war.

"Everybody is reinforcing. We are not done yet.

"There are still more players signing."

Okonkwo, 30, was looking forward to playing under coach Augusto Palacios, and hoped his experience would count in their Caf African Champions League campaign next season.

Pirates were eliminated in the first round this year, but Okonkwo won the coveted continental club competition with Nigeria's Enugu Rangers before his first spell with the Sea Robbers.

"This is where it started for me, and I'm happy to be back home," he said.

"I had more options beside Pirates, in France and Belgium, but football in Europe can sometimes be stressing.

"I'm happy to be here where I can hopefully finish off my career."

Gcaba and Moholo left Stars with the blessing of their former employers, after the club's impressive campaign under Steve Komphela last season.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead, but will always be grateful to Stars," said Gcaba, the defender who is on the fringes of Bafana selection.

"I had been there for four years and Stars allowed me an opportunity to move on."

Among the players expected to be released, to make way for the new signings, was midfielder Andile Jali, who looked likely to sign with a French club.

Khoza said he would not stand in the Bafana player's way should he receive an official offer in Europe.


  • poloyatonkim - 2012-06-25 15:03

    Caf African Champions League is not for sisies...

      godfrey.ngonyama - 2012-06-25 20:13

      Top players for top team,I feel sorry for Zebra force, session we gonna win 4 trophies,watch and learn.

  • magomarele - 2012-06-25 15:15

    Welcome home Okonkwo and please help the mighty Bucs to win CAF Champions league for the second time. Pirates is the only team that can do that in SA. We're still going to torment the Zebras and Sunflowers this seaon.

  • lithemba.m.makasi - 2012-06-25 16:02

    Jali 2 leave pirates. . .

      senzeni.theron - 2012-06-26 06:02

      He mst wrm de bench,he got 2 mch att..

  • sbusisonuh.mthabela - 2012-06-25 16:08

    Rise Double Treble Champions Rise!!!!!! Hheeeeeeeee Balekani MaZebra ndini! Lol

  • cosmas.ngwenya - 2012-06-25 16:29

    psl is 4 pirates, welcum okonkwo!

      Aview Aview - 2014-06-03 07:24

      M bucs fan m afraid this upcoming season pirates is gona kill psl teams.make sure u use missiles

  • sibusiso.d.sithole - 2012-06-25 20:24

    shapaaa bucaneer shapaaaa the only wish i have is the bucs to bring another star from africa it will make peace into the love of the stars \ welcome home okonkwo\

  • peter.kobue - 2012-06-26 08:24

    I support Mngoma, Okonkwo & Phungwayo moves... Last 3 won't make the standard! Shapaaa BUCS shapaaaa!

  • tokollo.moeletsi - 2012-06-26 08:30

    We welcome you Okonkwo. CAF Champions League is our main target this season and we will need your experience. It's sad to see Chansa go as heserved the club with distinction but Okonkwo is a great replacement and will do well for us.

  • - 2012-06-26 09:05

    Lol Pierats, u gonna get a lot of red cards, okonkwo can attacks referees lol watch out

      Luruli Khodani Black Jarman - 2014-06-03 22:55

      Okonkwo is camming attack other team not reffree

  • gasi.lesejane - 2012-06-26 13:21

    If you want glory in CAF then you need to sign players that are gonna add value... Okonkwo is a reject period and someone informed me that he was a grade R school teacher during his spell in Qatar and he never even kicked a ball..LOL

  • kgupane.rakhale - 2012-06-26 16:36

    I wish Andile Jali the best regarding his movement option to uerope. he is a great player, all the best boss. (Kgupane)

      johannesnape.segoapa - 2012-06-27 08:33

      We wish all de best jali.lets hope u gonna make it.jah dats true pirates is a developing team.boss ke mang?boss ke jali wa go ya europe.

      Luruli Khodani Black Jarman - 2014-06-03 23:01

      Not boss europe uero is a home of football

  • motumpane - 2012-07-01 15:22

    Parite its a big club but with this replacing thing hoohoo we'l see

  • bobby.normas - 2012-07-22 11:12

    I hope you will do what you capable of Okonkwo and welcome back home man.

      Emaphotholozi Nathi Fakudze Manyisa - 2015-05-03 08:58

      ya welcom home boy.wi lv u guys. ,but um not.hapy about mpontjane wy.dey.not gv him a change

  • Dieketseng Sabesa - 2014-06-30 21:14

    shaaaaapa bucs shapa

  • Lazarous Gwenzi - 2014-09-10 17:34


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