Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates midfielder Issa Sarr is looking forward to playing in front of a packed Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, having never experienced such fervent support at his former clubs.
Sarr joined Pirates from Platinum Stars at the end of last season, and was part of the team which twice beat Pirates in cup competitions -- the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout.
But while his double trophy-winning season with Dikwena was a massive achievement, Sarr said the one thing missing at his former club was a strong following and resulting large crowds at games.
“Sometimes the supporters help you. They push you, they give you confidence,” Sarr said ahead of Pirates’ clash with Kaizer Chiefs in Saturday’s top eight final.
“It’s nice, it’s better [than at Stars]. You have someone to encourage you and if you push 90 or 100 percent, likely you’re going to push even more.”
Now with one of the best-supported teams in the country, Sarr was eager to add to his trophy haul.
“Players want glory and trophies. With Pirates I want to win many trophies, more and more, not only this one.”
The no-nonsense midfielder was somewhat of a trophy magnet and revealed that even in his native Senegal he enjoyed successful campaigns which produced several pieces of silverware.
“I want the same story, I can’t lie. Winning to trophy again, lifting the trophy with my teammates and the support, I want the same.”
Previously at Chippa United, before Stars, Sarr had already made inroads during his three months with the Buccaneers.
Eight appearances in all, Sarr had established himself in a competitive squad and the 27-year-old said he had settled in well and was delighted to be with the Soweto giants.
“When I played at Platinum it was like a family. When I came here, I feel that same feeling and more also.
“My teammates have helped me, and the coach and everybody has been welcoming. I feel that this is my club and I am comfortable here.
“At Chippa I did well, and also at Platinum and even more at Pirates. I’m happy to play in the Premiership and I’m happy to be in South Africa.”
Looking beyond the weekend’s crunch clash in Durban, Sarr had not ruled out representing his country later this year and said he would be honoured to be part of Senegal’s 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign.
“The Senegal coach spoke with my agent. But in Senegal there are many players who play in Europe. There is more competition in Europe.
“But the coach promised me that he is going to check my performance here because I’m playing for a big club. Sometimes he watches my games and we talk.
“I hope one day I’m going to go back there to play in the national team.”