FEATURE: Influential figures in the upcoming Soweto Derby - Orlando Pirates winger Vincent Pule
Posted: 23 October 2018 Time: 15:00
Orlando Pirates winger Vincent Pule has seen a dramatic change in his game since arriving at the club from Bidvest Wits, and is expected to be a key figure in his maiden Soweto Derby this weekend.
Pule has risen to prominence at the Buccaneers, earning himself a look-in at the national team under Stuart Baxter in recent times, while he continues to rake in the plaudits for his club.
The 26-year-old has already equalled his best tally of four goals in all competitions in his first 11 appearances for Pirates, which he achieved in 28 outings for The Clever Boys last season.
He has also picked up three of the club’s monthly awards – two of which are for the best goals in August and September and one for the best player in September – after being voted for by the supporters.
His exploits certainly make him one of the men to watch in Saturday’s much-anticipated rivalry match-up at the FNB Stadium.
“As a player you have to work hard, the coaches are always at the training sessions and they see how you work. I think coach Micho’s trust in me helps me impose myself,” said Pule.
“I always work hard in training, and that’s how I gain his trust. The technical team always tell me that I must conduct myself very well inside the box; I must check how the defenders defend.
“We work very hard on our analysis of the opponents and where they lack, and I think that has helped me a lot in how to conduct myself inside the box.”
Pule is deployed out wide but is often seen drifting in field to get in front of goal, where he has proven deadly for the Soweto giants thus far. Previously, under Gavin Hunt, he was expected to whip more crosses in for the strikers.
The lanky speedster has since explained his new-found success in and around the box.
“I think our game model here allows me the freedom to always be inside the box, taking players on and, yes, I would say this technical team has helped me to actually improve,” he added.
“Previously, with coach Gavin, the wingers must stay wide and put in the crosses, and I think here it’s different because you find most of the time that the fullbacks are the ones expected to do the crossing.”
The QwaQwa-born star is currently joint-second top goal scorer with Kaizer Chiefs striker Khama Billiat (3), and only trails SuperSport United striker Evans Rusike (4).