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Steve Lekoelea says Gift Motupa's not ready for Orlando Pirates

Posted: 8 May 2018 Time: 19:30

Orlando Pirates legend Steve 'Chippa' Lekoelea feels Gift Motupa may still not be ready to handle the pressure of playing for a big team like the Buccaneers.

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Motupa has scored nine league goals on loan at Baroka this season - just two goals less than Mamelodi Sundowns' Percy Tau and Polokwane City's Rodney Ramagalela at the top of the scoring charts.

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Motupa looks certain to be on his way back to parent club Pirates at the end of the season, but Lekoelea wonders if this is in the 23-year-old's best interests.

"Ja, he is a good player yena but you know that some players are only good for small teams," Lekoelea tells

"Immediately they go to the big teams they struggle, I don't know why. It's only a few players who fit into the big teams. It's not all the players from the small teams who become good in the big teams. I think the long-time wish to play for a big team is what kills them, because when they finally happen to get a chance they don't utilise it. Players tend to relax once they get to big teams, as they think they have now achieved what they have been dreaming of, forgetting that's when they should be working more harder. That's why you see supporters get so angry and burn the stadiums because a team like Chiefs is not a small team, or Pirates for that matter.

"I think they must let Motupa stay with Baroka because there is a lot of pressure at Pirates. He seems free at Baroka because there is no pressure. They must let him play for another season at Baroka because Pirates is a big team and they will not only welcome Motupa at the end of the season, they will also sign other players. Let's say they happen to sign someone who is good for next season, does that mean Motupa will have to be benched? Because at the end he will end up sitting in the stands. I'm telling you and we will forget about him, whereas at Baroka we see him.

"You must go to Pirates or Chiefs when you are ready, when you are hundred percent ready. They must let Baroka have him for another season at least. Yes, he is a good player but his career will be destroyed at Pirates because this pressure thing is natural in football. You find that the stadium is full and he is not used to a full stadium at Baroka, you get me? That is going to kill him. You need to be very fit mentally. He is not ready for Pirates, he needs to adjust to playing in front of 60 000 people and that is going to take time."

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Article by: Sipho Mlotha
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