Pirates only need ‘two or three’ new faces, says Vermezovic

2014-07-22 15:47

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Orlando Pirates coach Vladimir Vermezovic says he has no immediate concerns about the strength of his squad ahead of the new season, kick-started by this weekend’s Carling Black Label Cup.

The Buccaneers meet Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon in what will be the fourth edition of this unique pre-season encounter, in which members of the public vote for the teams’ starting line-ups and substitutions.

“Our main weapon for next season is that this squad has played together for one or two years,” Vermezovic said at the team’s training base in Johannesburg today.

“We had 10 or 12 players on trial and we signed Issa Sarr, but at the moment, this team doesn’t need strengthening ... just fresh faces.

“When I took over, Pirates had a lot of injured players. But all the guys are ready. This team is very balanced now. We need two or three new faces - just to make a bit of competition in the squad.”

As is always the case before the start of a new campaign, much of the attention has been focused on Pirates’ new acquisitions in the transfer market. Their sole purchase has been that of the Platinum Stars midfielder.

“This game is very interesting ... like every game against Kaizer Chiefs, you don’t need to motivate the players for such a game,” the Serbian mentor said.

“I’m sure that our guys are going to perform well against Chiefs. I’m going to enjoy it because it’s the only game where I can sit back and not shout and scream and throw my water.”

The Sea Robbers, who lifted the Nedbank Cup two months ago, will be eager to get their season off on the right foot by adding more silverware to their trophy cabinet.

Having relinquished last year’s Black Label title to the Glamour Boys following back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2012, Pirates midfielder Daine Klate said he was honoured to represent the former champions after collecting enough votes to propel him into Saturday’s starting line-up.

“Being voted into the starting line-up is a nice thing. It means the fans appreciate what you’re doing,” Klate said.

“It’s the fourth week of pre-season, so we can’t read too much into the physical side. But a derby is a derby.

“It’s a spectacular event for everyone out there and we want to make it as entertaining as possible.

“We finished last season on a high and we hope to start the same way on Saturday.”

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