Bucs pull off coup signing Terror Fanteni

2009-08-05 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Orlando Pirates pulled off a major coup and made their biggest signing of the pre-season when club CEO Floyd Mbele unveiled Bafana Bafana striker Thembinkosi “Terror” Fanteni as their latest capture from Israel champions Maccabi Haifa.

Fanteni (25) joins the ambitious Buccaneers on loan for the new season with Pirates having an option to buy him in 2010.

Fanteni’s contract with the Israeli champions runs until 2011.

Fanteni is the seventh player Bucs have signed for what promises to be the hardest season in PSL history.

Said Mbele: “It is going to be a dogfight. Our goal is to win the Premiership and as many cups as possible this season.

“We jumped at the chance of signing Fanteni when we found out he was available and he will add strength and compliment our attack.

“He is a tremendous talent and is available immediately to coach Ruud Krol.”

Fanteni admitted that after finishing as Maccabi’s leading goal scorer last season with 17 goals, he wanted to return home and play regularly for a leading PSL club in order to cement his place in the Bafana squad for the 2010 World Cup finals next June.

Said Fanteni: “I had a disappointing tournament for Bafana in the Confederations Cup (in June). I learnt the hard way from mistakes I made and wanted to come home and fight, not just for Pirates but for Bafana as well”

Fanteni, who has played 19 times for his country, struggled in the opening Confederations Cup Group A match against Iraq at Ellis Park that ended 0-0, and lost his place in the starting line-up as Bafana improved and finished fourth in the tournament. The former Ajax Cape Town striker said he would love to make his debut against his former club in the opening MTN8 quarter-final clash at Ellis Park tonight.

But, as he has only started training with Maccabi since last Thursday, Krol is not likely to risk him in a crucial cup-tie as he is not fully match fit.

“The reason I joined Pirates was because they are ambitious and I want to help Pirates win trophies this season.

“I do not expect to walk into the side and I am prepared to roll up my sleeves and fight for my place.

“But I felt I have made the right decision by joining Pirates as I will be under the microscope of the Bafana technical team, and it is up to me to make sure I play well for Pirates and ensure my place in the 2010 World Cup finals.”

Mbele said Fanteni is the seventh player Bucs have signed so far and there could be more. “Seven and counting. We still are looking for quality players in other departments and if they become available, we will make our move.”

The other players signed this season are strikers Gert Schalkwyk, Ndumiso Mabena, Frank Olivier. midfiel­ders Phenya Mongala, Andile Jali, and Blaise Kaiku.

— Sapa.

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