Absa Premiership

Mlambo: Soweto derby memories will stay with me

2018-03-08 13:44
Pirates v Chiefs (Gallo Images)

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 life!

"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.


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Tuesday, 03 April 2018
Wits v Maritzburg United, Bidvest Stadium 19:30
AmaZulu FC v Ajax Cape Town, King Zwelithini Stadium 19:30
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Free State Stars v Kaizer Chiefs, Goble Park 18:00
Cape Town City FC v Golden Arrows, Cape Town Stadium 19:30
Mamelodi Sundowns v Chippa United, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
Polokwane City v SuperSport United, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
Orlando Pirates v Bloemfontein Celtic, Orlando Stadium 19:30
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Ajax Cape Town v Wits, Athlone Stadium 20:00
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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!

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