Analysing Orlando Pirates' goalkeeping situation following Brilliant Khuzwayo signing
Posted: 12 June 2018 Time: 19:30
Orlando Pirates will have been pondering on who to let go of following the arrival of goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo from arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs.
The Buccaneers now have four senior goalkeepers in their stable in Jackson Mabokgwane, Wayne Sandilands and Siyabonga Mpontshane, all of whom require regular game-time at this stage of their careers.
It may seem daft that Khuzwayo, who rejected a new deal at Amakhosi due to Itumeleng Khune’s unassailable hold of the number one jersey, has joined a club with so many top-level goalkeepers – all of whom have represented Bafana Bafana in the last two years.
However, with Pirates having acquired his services despite the presence of their current trio, it perhaps points to their lack of belief that they have a steady first-choice shot-stopper.
That being said, who then would have to be sacrificed in the department? Thirty-year-old Mabokgwane, 32-year-old Mpontshane or 34-year-old Sandilands?
With age on his side, Mabokgwane is most likely to remain at the club, while Sandilands – being the eldest of his teammates – could be first to be sacrificed, ahead of Mpontshane.
Looking at their respective records at the club, the former Mamelodi Sundowns gloveman has contributed the least – making just 12 appearances before a blunder cost him his place in the line-up, although it has only been one season since his arrival.
Mpontshane was signed from Platinum Stars as a replacement for the late Senzo Meyiwa in January 2015, but has managed only 28 appearances in his three-and-a-half seasons, with only nine of them coming in this past campaign. His contribution, however, was lauded by coach Milutin Sredojevic.
Mabokgwane joined from Mpumalanga Black Aces in 2016 after the club sold its status to Cape Town City, and has managed 26 appearances – 13 in both his seasons – since then.
Pirates have already offloaded Brighton Mhlongo, who had been on loan at Chippa United last season, to Bidvest Wits and have also parted ways with Emmanuel Daniel, Felipe Ovono, Philani Zikalala and Samoro Motlaung in the past three seasons.
It will be interesting to see who will be making way for the new kid on the block, who is expected to prove his worth as a first-choice goal-minder in the coming season, after playing second fiddle to Mzansi’s number one for the past six years at Naturena.