Orlando Pirates culture to dictate new signings for 2018/19 season, says Rhulani Mokwena
Posted: 24 May 2018 Time: 07:38
Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena has outlined a key aspect of the club’s recruitment policy as they plan towards building a stronger squad for the new season.
The Buccaneers will be hoping to go one better than their second-place finish this past season, and will therefore look to reinforce the squad in certain areas.
The club have already been linked with several possible signings, with Linda Mntambo and Paseko Mako believed to be part of the deal that saw Gift Motupa join Chippa United recently.
With coach Micho Sredojevic and Mokwena having turned the ship completely around from their noticeable free-fall state in the 2016/17 campaign, it remains to be seen what sort of signings they will be bringing in to ensure their continued improvement next season.
Mokwena, meanwhile, has emphasised one of the main elements Pirates look for in players that has yielded rewards in the past.
“It’s very difficult [to sign players] for Orlando Pirates, because it is a spiritual club. People say Pirates don’t sign a lot but the club tries to sign the right players,” explained Mokwena.
“Part to signing players at Orlando Pirates is an unwritten criteria, because the club – being a spiritual one – then looks for players that have a spiritual connection to the badge.
“If you look at when the club was successful in the past, you can go even as far back as your times of Jomo Sono, Bernard Lushozi, the Gerald Raphahlela era, John Moeti’s era, the Oupa Manyisa/Andile Jali era, several eras – Brandon Silent and all those.
“The one common denominator – of course, apart from the technical ability and being some of the best players in the country at the time but, spiritually they were aligned to the badge.
“They were aligned to the club and they were prepared to die for the club, and that is something we look for [when signing new players].
“We go deeper into our recruitment criteria, because not only do we look for the talent and the technical and tactical aspects, but we look for some form of spiritual connection.
“That’s very difficult because, in big teams, that’s sometimes where you get your competitive advantage.”