Cape Town - Orlando
Pirates January signing Xola Mlambo was delighted to help his new club
register their biggest victory of the season over rivals Kaizer Chiefs
in the Soweto derby.
The midfielder has hit the ground running at Pirates when it was
expected that he would struggle adapting to life at Bucs after joining
from Bidvest Wits in the January transfer window to end the long
speculation about his future.
"The best way to answer that is in the context of the Soweto Derby,
my goodness, that is the one memory I will carry for the rest of my
"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d wake up on a Saturday
morning to start a Soweto Derby and have the Ghost cheering me on as
passionately as they did.
"It was an amazing atmosphere, a bit overwhelming at first. Nothing
can prepare you for the roar of the fans as you come out of the player’s
tunnel. I still get goosebumps thinking about it today," the midfielder
told the club's website.
"The guys always tell you stories about their Derby experiences but
you simply have to experience it yourself to understand their
explanation, and all of it leads back to the fans. There is nothing like
playing in front of a big crowd like that, against your arch rivals and
especially when the stakes are that high," he added.
The new Bucs midfielder said having supporters come in big numbers
has been another motivating factor in their impressive run under the
mentorship of Serbian-born coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic.
He has also praised the good working relationship between the head
coach 'Micho' and his assistant Rhulani Mokwena, which has been
attributed for Pirates' good performances this season.
"It also helped a lot coming out the tunnel and seeing the same Bucs
fans that we see at Orlando Stadium, the centre Line Bucs. Then you look
to the right and you have the Gauteng Branch behind the goals, and then
Mgijimi and his gang just behind the bench.
"All of our fans, I don’t know them properly yet but I want them all
to know that there is so much love that we feel from them and we
appreciate it greatly."
Pirates are in second position in the league and trail leaders
Mamelodi Sundowns by four points but their focus has now shifted to the
cup competition where Bucs face Cape Town City in their next fixture.