Lourenco patient with Bucs promotion
Posted: 6 March 2018 Time: 19:30
Orlando Pirates’ reserve team captain Ricky Lourenco remains optimistic that his opportunity with the first team will come, and is delighted the squad are in a good space.
One of the standout players in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge in recent seasons, Lourneco has yet to live up to his full potential since earning a move to PEC Zwolle in 2014.
The 21-year-old Bidvest Wits youth product spent just one season in the Netherlands before returning home, and says he struggled to find a team prior to ending up at the Buccaneers.
“The first nine months were really difficult. Coming back from Zwolle, where we won, I think, the Commonwealth Cup with coach David Notoane, I thought finding a club would be easy,” Lourenco explained to KickOff.com.
“But it wasn’t. I actually just saw a clip from when I played against AmaTuks in Zwolle, so it takes me back to a tough time when I came back to South Africa.
“I’m grateful that I was given a chance in the ABC Motsepe League and that helped me a lot to just get back to the pace of South African football, which is really high.
“I think in the last two years I’ve settled in nicely at Pirates, and it’s a club that I’m really happy at, at the moment.”
Pirates, meanwhile, recently promoted 19-year-old defensive midfielder Siphumelele Mbulu to the first team, prompting questions as to when Lourenco will follow suit.
The attacking midfielder admits he harbours strong ambitions of donning the black and white colours in the Absa Premiership, and believes the team's current showing increases the likelihood of an opportunity arising.
“I think everyone has their own time, hopefully my chance will come. I know it’s tough being promoted at a club like Orlando Pirates,” he admits.
“At the moment the first team is in a good space so they don’t necessarily need players, but there’ll be a time and I need to be ready. I just need to keep my head down and work hard.
“With that being said, it’s easy to promote young players when the team is doing well, rather than struggling, so I just need to wait patiently for my chance.
“I’m very happy for Mbulu as well, he’s a very hard worker, doesn’t say much and shows it all on the pitch, which is the type of player Pirates likes.
“It’s very encouraging and, like I said, hopefully it opens doors for other players to be promoted as well, including myself.”