Shaping up Pirates will not be easy, but Zinnbauer is up for the challenge

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Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer

SPORT


Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has admitted that his biggest task has been to integrate the new players in a short time.

The Buccaneers have made several high-profile signings during the transfer window.

At least now we are working and playing games again. It’s a good feeling to be together as a team before the start of the season.
Josef Zinnbauer

With the calibre of players signed, it can be expected that they will command places in the starting team. Deon Hotto, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Thabang Monare, Terence Dzvukamanja and Collins Makgaka were brought in during the spending spree.

“The pre-season has been very short, and it has not been much time to prepare. But I can’t complain because it has been the same for everybody,” Zinnbauer said.

“It’s not enough [time to prepare] but it is better than being at home and unable to work. At least now we are working and playing games again. It’s a good feeling to be together as a team before the start of the season.

Read: Zinnbauer adds own touch in rebuilding Bucs

“We have new players and they have settled into the team. The players have had to adapt very quickly and that is good. Some of the players are not at the fitness level we want them to be but someone such as Tyson [Hlatshwayo] can be in the starting line-up and play 90 minutes.”

When he arrived at the club in December last year, Zinnbauer inherited a team built by former coaches Milutin Sredojevic and Rhulani Mokwena.

During the transfer window, the club offloaded Xola Mlambo, Alfred Ndingane, Justin Shonga, Augustine Mulenga, Diamond Thopola, Tercious Malepe, Meshack Maphangule, Thembela Sikhakhane and Brian Hlongwa.

The 2020/21 season kicks off this weekend with the MTN8 first round.

Read: Hlatshwayo shares bits of his face-to-face talk with Bucs boss Khoza

The Buccaneers take on Cape Town City on Saturday at 6pm while defending champions SuperSport United face newcomers Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila at 3pm. The club from Venda unveiled their new signings on Thursday, among them Shonga, Mulenga, Maphangule (from Pirates), Thabo Mnyamane, Gustavo Paez and Joseph Molangoane.

On Sunday, Mamelodi Sundowns face Bloemfontein while Kaizer Chiefs battle Maritzburg United.


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Gomolemo Motshwane  

Sport journalist

+27 11 713 9001
gomolemo.motshwane@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park


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