Bucs strikers on strike in front of the net

2011-05-14 16:45

Ever since the PSL’s top-scorer award was named the ­Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot Award, no Orlando Pirates striker has ever won it in memory of their fallen hero.

Lack of notable and consistent goal-scorers on the Pirates ship could have been the reason for their failure to lift the Absa Premiership title.

Once again, the trend of midfielders and defenders showing strikers how to score goals continued unabated at Pirates this season with six of their marksmen nowhere near the top of the scorer’s chart.

In fact, the last time a striker at the club had a decent claim at the crown was almost a decade ago when the late ­Manyathela topped the charts with 18 goals to his name in the 2002/03 season.

Since then, Pirates’ shooters have been firing blanks, or have ­perhaps simply been too shy to to score when in front of goals.

This season has not been different as Bucs have had to once again rely on midfielders Isaac Chansa, Thulasizwe

Mbuyane and Tlou Segolela to bang in goals, and help the club challenge for the league ­title honours.

None of the six strikers in ­Pirates’ books – Katlego ­Mashego, Ezenwa Otorogu, ­Chuikepo Msowoya, Ndumiso Mabena, Patrick Malokase and Bongani Ndulula – has scored more than four goals.

Chansa is leading the pack with eight league strikes this season, followed by Mbuyane on six while “Sox” Segolela has five to his credit.

Even defenders had to rise to the occasion with Happy Jele contributing two crucial goals when the chips were down to keep their title hopes alive.

Captain Lucky Lekgwathi – a defender – contributed a single goal this season.

Only two seasons (2008/09 season) ago, another defender Lucas Thwala was the club’s highly rated scorer with eight goals, while striker Katlego Mashego had nine goals, but three of those were scored while at SuperSport United before his transfer to the Buccaneers where he added six more.

The last Pirates’ strikers to score double digits were ­Phumudzo Manenzhe and Excellent Walaza in the 2004/05 and 2006/07 seasons respectively, when they found the back of the net 10 times.

A season after Manyathela’s heroic exploits, Benedict Vilakazi tried to copy his scoring ability, but came short when he could only bulge the net 13 times. That was the last time any Pirates player ever came close to Manyathela’s feat.

Hopefully the next time ­Pirates recruit strikers, they will go for players who can score at least 10 or more goals during a season.

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