Orlando Pirates not afraid of the unknown in Africa
Posted: 26 November 2015 Time: 20:03
As the squad departs South Africa for Tunisia, midfielder Thandani Ntshumayelo reveals a key aspect of Orlando Pirates’ away success in the CAF Confederation Cup.
The Buccaneers are on the plane on their way to Tunis via Dubai this evening and are braced for their final long journey as their arduous African campaign approaches its final chapter.
The prize in sight is a victory over Etoile du Sahel in Sousse that would bring the Confederation Cup to South Africa for the first time and complete an African ‘double’ for Pirates.
“We play well away from home in Africa because when we leave, we leave as 25 South Africans going into the unknown. It keeps us close,” Ntshumayelo tells Lesedi FM.
His midfield partner Lehlogonolo Masalesa echoes that sentiment of unity within the camp, a togetherness that has fuelled the belief that helped them score on every single away trip in Africa.
“The team is more than the eleven you see on the pitch. We have more guys that are a huge part of the side. We are all in it together,” he says.
Pirates coach Eric Tinkler has often said that people underestimate the challenges of travelling throughout Africa to compete in these tournaments, and Masalesa agrees.
“It [travelling] takes a toll because in some cases we get off a 24-hour transit [from the airport] and straight into kick-off,” he adds.
“Conditions are tough because you have to adjust quickly. We can leave South Africa in the rain and land on the other side in blazing heat.”
Nevertheless, there is one more voyage that starts tonight, and one final team effort could reap great rewards come the end of the weekend.
The second leg kicks off at 16h00 South African time on Sunday.