Orlando Pirates’ new defender says he prayed for a move to Pirates

ORLANDO Pirates’ new recruit Asavela Mbekile is excited about starting a new chapter in his football career.

The versatile player was one of nine signings announced by Bucs on Monday.

Having endured a tough time on the touchline at Mamelodi Sundowns last season, the 31-year-old hopes to help the Soweto giants create history by winning trophies in the upcoming season.

Pirates have not won a single trophy in the last two seasons, but Mbekile says that will soon change.

He added: “I am happy, as it’s one of the moves I prayed for. Pirates haven’t won anything in a long time and I want to be part of the group of players that changes that to bring glory to for the fans. I have won many trophies with Sundowns, the only one missing is the MTN8, which I aim to win with my new teammates.”

Mbekile has also set his sights on winning the Caf Champions League for the second time, having won it with the Brazilians in 2016.

“Pirates were the first club in South Africa to win the Champions League in 1995 and surely the fans want to see the trophy in their cabinet again. I am excited to get to play in the competition again, to be able to make history.”

Although Mbekile is excited about reuniting with assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena, having worked together at Downs, he knows that hard work is the only way to cement his place in Milutin Sredojevic’s starting lineup.

“Having worked with him before gives me a bit of an advantage because he knows a bit about me. Having said that, I still need to prove that I am good enough, because history doesn’t count, it’s long gone.

“It will be tough, since Pirates have quality players like Thabo Matlaba and Mthokozisi Dube. But you can only play if you do well at training, and that’s what I will do.”

Mbekile says he will miss the Brazilians, whom he bonded with during his four-year stint in Chloorkop.

“I will miss everything there because Sundowns are a great club and professionally run. It has been four years and I have made new friends – from the players and groundsmen to the fans who were nice to me. I will always cherish the great times I had at the club.”

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