Smeekes has high hopes

2013-12-19 00:00

MARITZBURG United winger Orlando Smeekes is confident that the club has the quality to turn their season around and climb up the table.

The Team of Choice have not won a game since they beat AmaZulu at the Harry Gwala Stadium in October, a run of six matches without a win and five consecutive losses.

“Of course there is disappointment at the moment, and some question marks. But, we have a good squad and everyone is confident that we can turn this around,” the speedy Dutch winger told The Witness yesterday.

“Nobody is giving up. And we saw that in training today [Wednesday]. We are not focusing on the past and we are looking forward,” Smeekes said.

Asked if they were confident of going to Pretoria and upsetting league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, Smeekes said: “The ball is round, and anything can happen.

“We showed when we played against Pirates that we do well against the big teams. Perhaps it is better to play against the big teams than the smaller ones.”

Smeekes, who has not played as many games as he would have liked this season, said he gave his best every time he took to the field. “Personally, I’ve felt like I’ve always given my best. I have not played a lot, and that is disappointing. Everyone wants to play, and if you’re not disappointed by not playing, then you shouldn’t be a footballer,” he said.

“But, I am also a professional, and if I don’t play, I have to be a professional outside of the squad.”

The 31-year-old suffered a bad injury last season that kept him out for a lengthy period, his first of his career that has seen him play for Go Ahead Eagles in the Dutch Eerste Divisie (second tier).

“I’m fine now. It was my first injury in my career. I was disappointed because I wanted to be playing and not sitting around at home.”

After their game against Sundowns, the players will go on a Christmas break, and Smeekes said he wouldn’t be going back to Holland for the holiday.

“I’ll be staying here in South Africa. I’m going to Cape Town. I haven’t been there, and all the guys in the side say it is great,” he said.

The club leave for Pretoria this afternoon.

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