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Orlando Pirates young gun Kopano waiting for his chance

12:10 PM GMT 20/11/2022
Kopano Thuntsane, Orlando Pirates, September 2021
Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Kopano Thuntsane says he is in no hurry to claim the number one jersey from Richard Ofori and Siyabonga Mpontshane.
  • Pirates goalkeeper Thuntsane unfazed by competition
  • Says he is not hard-pressed to claim the number one jersey
  • He is the fourth-choice goalkeeper at the Sea Robbers

WHAT HAPPENED? Thuntsane was promoted to the Buccaneers first team last season from the club’s reserve team. But he is yet to feature in a competitive game for Pirates as Ofori, Mpontshane and Sipho Chaine are above him in the pecking order. Thuntsane says, for now, he is content travelling with the first team, also saying he is still young and he will stick to learning from those ahead of him.

WHAT THUNTSANE SAID: “I have enjoyed being part of the first team, just travelling with team has been a wonderful team experience for me,” said Thuntsane as per SunSport. “I’m obviously still very young and I have time on my side. I just want to use this opportunity to learn as much as I can from the other guys.

“I try to absorb as much as possible from the experienced guys in the team. I try to take the opportunity to have conversations with them and they give me advice on where I need to improve. I know that I need to be patient and wait for my opportunity. This is a big team and you have to be ready when your chance does come.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pirates have a stable goalkeeping department but game time is being switched between Mpontshane and Ofori who sometimes struggles with injuries. Following the non-renewal of Wayne Sandilands’ contract at the end of last season, the club moved in to sign Chaine from Chippa United. Chaine’s arrival pushed Thuntsane further down the pecking order just as he might have thought he was now closer to the number one jersey.

He was promoted to the senior team last season when Ofori and Sandilands were injured. Soon after his elevation, he featured on the bench deputising Mpontshane in a Caf Confederation Cup match against Diables Noirs and the Premier Soccer League hosting of Royal AM.

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR THUNTSANE? While he says he is in no rush to overtake the more experienced goalkeepers, Thuntsane will, however, be hoping his push for first-team football gets recognised.