Thabo Qalinge downplays Soweto Derby importance
Posted: 25 October 2016 Time: 15:44
Orlando Pirates winger Thabo Qalinge has played down the significance of a victory in the Soweto Derby clash against arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs.
The Buccaneers will play host to Amakhosi in the first Absa Premiership derby of the 2016/17 season at the FNB Stadium this Saturday, with kick-off set for 15h00.
As always, expectations are high from both sets of supporters as Chiefs look to maintain their standing atop the log standings, while Pirates will aim to end their three-match drawing streak.
Having featured in three derbies since his arrival at the Mayfair-based club from Mpumalanga Black Aces two seasons ago, 'Section 10' is relishing the prospect off adding to his tally this weekend.
"Having played in just three, I consider the Soweto Derby to still be a new game to me and I am excited at the prospect of playing more," the 25-year-old told Orlando Pirates Magazine.
"I was part of the MTN8 [final] loss after coming on as a sub, then I started in a league game and then I came on as a sub again in the Nedbank Cup last season.
"What an amazing feeling [it is] to be involved in this game, because the fans are the ones who make this game so special."
Qalinge, though, is of the impression that the blockbuster clash is "only a game", and says a win would count no more than a bonus in a long season still to come.
"It's also important to remember that, while it's a big game, at the end of the day it's only just a game, so you can't dwell on it for too long beyond the 90 minutes because there is another 90 to come in the next few days [against SuperSport United]," he added.
"Winning the Soweto Derby is important, but it is just a bonus for us in a long season."