Bhaktawer surprised by Ofori signing


Legendary ex-keeper Deshi Bhaktawer has explained the intricacies behind Orlando Pirates' decision to sign Richard Ofori as a new goalkeeper.

'Al Die Hoekies' as Bhaktawer was known during his playing days kept goal for the Buccaneers during the 1990s and has worked as a football analyst on television.

"Look, it's difficult to say, Pirates being such a big club you know there's a lot of pressure for anybody to perform at that club," Bhaktawer tells

"So from the moment you arrive there, there's pressure on you. The pressure can often... it can drive people, but it can also cause people to make mistakes you know. So ja you know I reckon he'll do okay, he's just got to work hard.

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"Ja look, I think the goalkeeper's role these days has changed drastically. For a couple of years now in Europe they want goalkeepers to be able to play. I know when I was in Spain they wanted exactly the same thing. They wanted a goalkeeper to use his feet to pass the ball 50-60 metres as well.

"Because it changes the way everybody plays, it pushes everybody forward. So I think if he's able to adapt to that, it will maybe add a new dimension to his game. And it will change the way Pirates play. I think the new Pirates coach will want to play from the back as well."

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Asked if he thought Ofori was the missing piece in the Pirates puzzle, Bhaktawer was positive.

"It could very well be," he says. "You know what, there's not one person that's going to change things. It's going to be a team effort, and I think also how he gets on with his back four or the people playing in front of him, if he establishes his relationship there quite quickly, then I see him being successful.

"Look, it is a bit of a surprise I've got to say. But Pirates might have seen something in him. I'm not quite sure who was involved in his signing, but I don't think a club as big as Pirates is going to sign somebody they're not sure of you know. So somebody somewhere along the line must have seen something in him."

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