Brighton Mhlongo welcomes Jackson Mabokgwane competition at Orlando Pirates
Posted: 28 July 2016 Time: 22:06
Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo has welcomed the arrival of Jackson Mabokgwane, and says he brings healthy competition for the number one spot ahead of the 2016/17 season.
Mabokgwane has reunited with coach Mushin Ertugral, who he worked under at Mpumalanga Black Aces, and the current Bucs number one believes the Bafana Bafana shotstopper will help Siyabonga Mpontshane and himself step up their game.
“Competition is always healthy for the team because at the end of the day, it’s not about me personally, it’s about the team," said Mhlongo.
"So if the team felt that they needed to beef up the squad with another international goalkeeper, clearly there’s something that they saw that needs to be worked on.
“I’m pleased that Jackson is here. Him and I have a good relationship and even with Bafana we were sharing a room together, so it’s motivating to have him here because his experience is going to help the team and it’s going to help me personally, so I’m looking forward to the competition.”
Mhlongo adds that Mabokgwane's arrival has also had a positive impact on Mpontshane, who has been struggling for game-time.
“You’ll be surprised, even Mpontsh [Mpontshane] has stepped up and everyone is just fighting for that jersey,” he concludes.
Meanwhile defender Happy Jele expects his teammates who haven’t made the starting line-up for the Carling Black Label Champion Cup tie against Kaizer Chiefs to support those who will be starting.
The starting line-ups for Saturday’s derby have been revealed, with fans from both sides once again picking their preferred teams in this unique tournament.
The fans will also have a say in the first substitution of the match and Jele says the Bucs players who have not made the starting line-up have taken it well.
“No, they know what is happening in the team. We normally play 11 players but obviously we are the team. We need to support each other each and everyday,” Jele tells KickOff.com.
“I believe that, at the moment, the new guys and the other guys that have not been voted [in] they’re still fine. They are motivating us and as well we are motivating them because at the end of the day we are a team.”
“We don’t want individual brilliance at this moment, we want all of us to be part of the journey.”