Under-fire Pirates keeper gets support

Premiership

Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands has come out in support of his teammate and competitor Joris Delle following his forgettable start to life in the PSL.

The former French junior international arrived to high expectations from The Buccaneers faithful when his arrival from Dutch side Feyenoord was confirmed in pre-season, but opinions have since changed.

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Delle came under fire after conceding eight goals in just his first three appearances against Chippa United, Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City, prompting coach Rhulani Mokwena to resort back to veteran Sandilands between the sticks.

But the former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper has since defended his teammate, expressing his belief in the 29-year-old’s ability to bounce back if given the opportunity.

“I think Joris is a strong character, obviously having played in Europe and growing up in that environment, there’s a certain level of mental strength that you need to have,” said Sandilands.

“So, I think he’s fine; he’s got very good qualities. As a goalkeeper, he’s got an all-round game from the coaching he’s received and from the level he’s been playing at.

“I don’t think it should change anybody’s perception of him and I’m sure he’s looking forward to the next opportunity that he gets to play.”

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Furthermore, Sandilands reiterated that fingers cannot be pointed at individuals or departments, echoing Mokwena’s sentiments that defending is a collective responsibility.

“But, yeah, when you’re defending [poorly] or conceding goals as a team, it’s not only about the keeper or the defence; the coach alluded to the fact that our game model is that we defend as a collective,” he added.

“So, we’ve sat down as a group of players and we’ve discussed where our shortfalls are defensively as a collective, not as any individuals or departments but as a whole team.

“I think going forward, you can see maybe we are sort of defending a little bit more solidly, and that’s just due to the whole collective effort of the team and everybody being on the same page.”

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