Orlando Pirates vs. Zamalek


The Mighty Buccaneers will be hosting Zamalek at Orlando Stadium for their Champions League clash on Saturday, 17 August 2013 kick-off @ 20h00.

Captains Run:
As per the CAF rules both teams will be afforded a 1 hour opportunity to train at the match venue, Orlando stadium on Friday, 16 August 2013.

Orlando Pirates
The Buccaneers will be the first to train and the entire training session will be open to the media. The training session will commence @ 18h00 sharp and conclude @ 19h00.

Zamalek
The White Knights are scheduled to train second starting @ 20h 00 and finish @ 21h 00, Only the first 15 minutes will be open to the media, therefore @ 20h 15 the media will be asked to vacate the venue.

Media Interviews:
Members of the media will be afforded an opportunity in the form of a MD-1 press conference

The round of interviews will start with the Orlando Pirates press conference immediately after training @ 19h00.

The Zamalek press conference has been scheduled to start prior to training @ 19h 30.
Both teams will avail their Head Coach and two players.

Media Accreditations:

Local Media:
All local media intending to cover this Champions League clash may use the normal PSL accreditation, as well as the Champions League SAD’s, these may be collected from the Orlando Pirates Parktown office.

International Media:
Arrangements have been made for foreign based media to use Orlando Pirates match specific accreditations.

Parking:

Media parking may also be collected from the Orlando Pirates office in Parktown.

All media intending to cover the event is required to RSVP to by 12h 00 midday on Thursday, 15 August 2013.
Enquiries:

Thandi Merafethandi@orlandopiratesfc.co.za

082 761 2137

“ONCE A PIRATE ALWAYS A PIRATE”
Orlando Pirates Football Club

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My Bafana line-up vs. Nigeria


Goalkeeper
GK – Itumeleng Khune

Defenders:
LB – Tshepo Masilela
CB – Eric Mathoho
CB – Thabo Nthethe
RB – Tshepo Gumede

Midfielders:
RW – Thuso Phala
CDM – Dean Furman
CAM – Reneilwe Letsholonyane
LW – Siphiwe Tshabalala

Strikers:
ST – Bernard Parker
ST – Tokelo Rantie

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On The Absence of Ngcongca

Tshepo Gumede did well for Platinum Stars during last season’s Absa Premiership campaign and for Bafana Bafana at the COSAFA Cup in July. There’s no doubt the player needs a challenge and Nigeria will the perfect opposition to launch him to a much higher senior team platform.

On the withdrawal of the 6 Orlando Pirates players

Coach GI was going to trim his 28-man squad anyway so the absence of the Pirates players will give other local players like Luyolo Nomandela and Buhle Mkhwanazi a chance to experience the national team set-up.

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On the absence of May Mahlangu

Mahlangu’s absence means that Gordon Igesund will have to look for other attacking and creativity alternatives, someone with a “street-smart”, ‘go-getter’ attitude, perhaps Lerato Chabangu who more boasts more international experience over Mathebula, however his ordinary display at the COSAFA Cup might force GI to change his formation and opt for 2 strikers, allowing Letsholonyane to mastermind the attack from the middle. 

I see our boys winning this match 2-1 despite the threat posed by the Super  Eagles.

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MTN8 Semi Final Fixtures


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Semi-final one:

Platinum Stars v Bidvest Wits (20-August)
Bidvest Wits v Platinum Stars (25-August)

Semi-final two:
Kaizer Chiefs v Orlando Pirates (21-August)
Orlando Pirates v Kaizer Chiefs (24-August)

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Football Shots


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Pre-Afcon Highs and Lows


South Africa is preparing for yet another football spectacle and with just 5 days to go before the Orange 2013 African Cup of Nations: South Africa kicks-off, we are going to have look at the highs and lows surrounding the tournament.

Lows:

  • Lack of proper marketing: only until I drove past the FNB Stadium and the Baragwanath Taxi rank on Saturday, did I see street pole Afcon branding. Lack of marketing led to a blame game between the Gauteng MEC of Sport, Lebo Maile criticizing the Local Organising Commitee as being incompetent whereas the LOC fired shots at Mr. Maile, citing the delay on government’s side in approving the budget. This explains why TV adverts were only aired last week on how football loving supporters can purchase tickets, which leads me to my next point…
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Brian Baloyi, Neil Tovey and MEC of Sport, Arts and Culture Mr. Lebo Maile.

  • Complicated ticket buying process: I have every reason to believe that ticket sales could have surpassed the 500 000 mark, only if the process was simple. South Africans are so used to buying tickets over the counter, booking online and paying through credit cards is just enough make fans lose interest. No doubt the system leads to better organisation but it’s implementation during the World Cup excluded quite a number of football loving fans. This time the LOC used EQ Tickets, a similar method, however, ticket collection at a Super Spar or any participating Spar outlet is not practical, how many Spar outlets are there nationally? This is inconvenient and it’s not helping when the Spar peeps aren’t clued up on how to use the system as well.
  • SAFA’s match-fixing scandal: Whether they did it or not, Mzansi’s image has already been compromised. Every match we play will be scrutinized and that will make our boys even more nervous, it’s bad enough our boys are not winning their matches, perhaps the boardroom activities are affecting the lads.

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  • No show of African stars: Steven Pienaar retired from international football, Morocco will be without star players, Adel Taarabt and Arsenal’s Marouane Chamakh. Andre Ayew will not be around to represent tournament favourites, Ghana because he did not report for camp in time because of a ‘hamstring injury’, fortunately, the Togolese FA was able to convince Adebayor to board the plane to SA, after he had initially refused to come, citing safety fears after their bus was machine-gunned by Angolan rebels on the Congolese border ahead of the 2010 African Nations Cup. Ultimately, our African stars are not taking this tournament seriously at all by putting their clubs interests ahead of their respective countries. “Safa vice-president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana labeled former Bafana Bafana skipper Steven Pienaar ‘selfish’ and ‘egotistical’ over his decision to quit the national side” – Goal.com. Personally, I agree with him, if it wasn’t for the international exposure, some of those players wouldn’t have made it to that level, but they also have to look out for their careers.
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Itumeleng Khune, Matthew Booth, Siyabonga Nomvethe and Lance Davids greeting the fans during the Bafana Tour of Sandton in 2010.

Not all’s lost, there’s lots to look forward to for the Afcon, things like…

  • Hosting another successful football tournament: We did it with the 2010 FIFA World Cup and we’ll do it again with the 2013 Afcon. I have no doubts over Mzansi’s ability to stage high profile events, issues or not, we will deliver.
  • The repeat of 1996: realistically speaking, we can WIN it! Who ever thought South Africa will win the 1996 Afcon tournament, 4 years after we played our first international match against Zambia? It’s not how we play in the friendlies, it’s how well we do in the tournament that will determine our success, we have a side that can compete, I have faith in Bafana, they will do well.
  • The love of the game: South Africans are passionate about football, they may not show much faith in Bafana, but they will be glued to their screens come 19 January, just to enjoy the football. Excitement is picking up, sports bars will have decent turnouts, friends will meet up for braais and beers to watch the spectacle. No matter how much fans criticize Bafana, they will watch their matches.
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Young South African loving football supporter

  • Bafana with a point to prove: And they will make their mark. With the likes of Itumeleng Khune, Thulani Serero, Thabo Matlaba, Anele Ngcongca, ‘Killer’ Mphela, Bernard Parker and more, we have quality players that have the ability to fly the nation’s flag high. We have a united and balanced side that has limited individual brilliance, this can work to our advantage as it will bring a dynamic element to our style of play.

 

On 19 February 2013, I will be at the iconic National Stadiun (FNB Stadium) that symbolizes our South African calabash, getting behind our boys as they begin their quest to conquer Africa.

 

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Ukhamba (The Calabash), as depicted by the National Stadium (FNB Stadium)

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SA seeded, still no easy group


Former SAFA President Molefi Olifant’s statement after South Africa was drawn with Tunisia, Guinea and Zambia for the MTN African Cup of Nations 2006: Egypt tournament- “Phew, this is an OK draw for SA…”

Three matches later, we ended at the bottom of  group D without scoring a single goal nor a point.

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Any way, let’s focus on the matter at hand, the Orange 2013 Africa Cup of Nations teams have been seeded and the official draw for the tournament will take place next week Wednesday, October 24 in Durban, South Africa. The seeded teams are as follows:

Pot 1: South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast
Pot 2: Mali, Tunisia, Angola, Nigeria
Pot 3: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Niger
Pot 4: Togo, Cape Verde Islands, Congo DR, Ethiopia

Based on the info from Supersport Football;

“Seeding is based on results from the past three Cup of Nations tournaments in Ghana, Angola and Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, rather than Fifa rankings, and, theoretically, keeps the “big guns” apart.”

Seeding formula

- Points awarded for performances in previous three Cup of Nations tournaments with seven for winners, five for runners-up, three for semifinalists, two for quarterfinalists, and one for teams eliminated after first round

- Points from the most recent tournament are multiplied by three, from the middle tournament by two, and from the oldest by one

- Host nations automatically go into Pot 1.

This is a little confusing when taking the past tournaments into account, but is probably the best way  to conduct the seeding.

It’s a good thing that we got seeded with current African powerhouses in Ivory Coast, Zambia and Ghana, however, there’s a high possibility we may get drawn with either Nigeria, Morocco, Angola Algeria or the Democratic Republic of Congo, lest we forget about Ethiopia who almost pipped our boys on home soil during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers back in June ’12.

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Looking at our inconsistent string of results against African teams of late, the draw will only be nothing more than a formality, every game will be a final.

It all boils down to more than playing well – winning matches. We do have a team (that can compete) but we’ll need more than near misses and half chances to guarantee ourselves a quarterfinal berth. I’m confident of two wins, a draw and a spot in the last eight but anything more than that will do.

Our boys will be in action against the Harambee Stars, Kenya tomorrow night at Nairobi, let’s rally behind them.

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No truth in SA football


One man’s opinion but I believe that I and a few individuals out there will agree with my reasoning.

So I hear Bafana lost to Brazil by a goal to nil, what’s new? “We played well”, so they say but I’m tired of hearing the same thing over and over, when are we going to become a world beating side?

We need to stop fooling ourselves and admit that Mzansi diski is at its all-time low with no truth in it, we’ll see no grow if we carry on like this. Influence, chemistry and form are the core focus points of this discussion.

Dating back to our first World Cup appearance in ’98, after Clive Barker successfully led Bafana to glory in our maiden Afcon tournament in 1996, we had a balanced and motivated team that was willing to fight for the country. Months before the World Cup, Clive Barker was fired; “apparently” he was not in favour of Benni McCarthy who was doing very well for Ajax Amsterdam, furthermore experiencing bad form with the national side.

In the 1998 Afcon, SAFA appointed caretaker coach Jomo Sono and we came 2nd after losing to Egypt and later in the year took part in the 1998 World Cup under the Frenchman, Phillipe Troussier, securing 3rd spot in the group after losing to the hosts and eventual champs, France and claiming draws against Denmark and Saudi Arabia.  Two points; not bad for our first appearance.

As the years progressed, world renowned Portuguese coach Carlos Quieroz led the side between 2000 and 2002, took our boys to the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup but was fired on the eve of the tournament… Did you spot the pattern?

So the story goes, Stuart Baxter, Styles Phumo, Shakes Mashaba, Carlos Alberto Parreira to Santana then back, it was evident that we were a nation desperate for quick results. Hahaha, a quick fix?

What a joke!

Oh wait, I forgot to mention that we are seeing the same thing happening at Orlando Pirates with the recent appointment of former Wits coach, Roger de Sa. After a string of poor results in the past three seasons with the students, he’s now head coach of Orlando Pirates, please!

It became clear long ago that last season’s treble was from Rudi Krol’s influence. The Dutchman instilled discipline (Teko will lay testimony to that)  and character in that team and they became a dominant force in the PSL, winning 6 titles in two seasons and successfully defending the PSL title. His contract was not renewed because he did not “submit a season report” and;

“Is not that we don’t believe in continuity; we are satisfied with the work he has done. I think beyond this point we think we must take a different direction altogether.” Dr. Irvin Khoza said.

Which direction are we following now?

Enough about the details, here’s my view of the whole situation:

- Too much interference from the management

-Setting unrealistic timelines

- Lack of material

- No vision

- Lack of ambition from the current crop

I don’t see Bafana doing well in the next couple of years simply because we are not true to ourselves. If we are not looking for continuity, then what’s the point? Krol built a solid foundation and results came, he was sacrificed, for Julio Leal who lasted until March 2012. Sundowns did the same with Hristo Stoichkov, highly vocal, he made Sundowns a solid unit, brought results and was sacked.

In other words, if you challenge the system, you are as good as gone. Krol and Stoickhov were never afraid to voice out their opinions, which made them seem “arrogant”, so they had to go. Management had little say, if nothing at all to the coaches’ work. As for arrogance, ask Benni McCarthy, Didier Drogba, El Hadji Diouf to mention a few, arrogance takes you far, arrogant folks know their ability, worth and are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, however in SA, you are a big-headed cunt that needs to be squashed like a cockroach because you are a big threat to the incompetent peeps out there.

One thing for sure, they earned respect from the players and our football went up a notch or two.

We expected Bafana to qualify for the round of 16 during the 2010  World Cup, knowing exactly we have a sub-standard team, currently our sights set on a semi-final berth in the 2013 Afcon, oh, yes, how about we add qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, two lousy matches drawn against Ethiopia and Botswana in the qualifiers. Unrealistic don’t you think?

Bafana made it to the semis in Burkina Faso due to Clive Barker’s influence, same as the treble achieved by Pirates in the 10/11 and 11/12 PSL seasons, thanks to Krol. Are we missing the point?

I think we are. Influence builds chemistry, chemistry builds form and form leads to consistency which will eventually build character and bring results. There’s a ray of hope with Gordon but it won’t help if he applies the same tired and tested principles. Not that our national side didn’t have good coaches, we just had poor administrators running our beautiful game, 14 coaches in 16 years after Clive Barker is an appaling record, we still have a long way to go.

Dwelling on history and false hope will only bringing more disappointment and we’ll be blinded from seeing the truth, we must just:

- Sit out the 2014 World Cup and aim for an appearance in the 2018 World Cup, possibly reach the quarterfinals in the 2022 showpiece.

- Rebuild and qualify for the 2015 Afcon, at least reach the knockout stages. Aim for glory in the 2017 edition of the African tournament.

- Re-look the School of Excellence concept and focus on youth development – get proper coaches involved like Farouk Khan and Sam Mbatha,

Lastly…

Patience!

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