Absa Premiership

Mulenga proud of Soweto Derby debut

Augustine Mulenga (Supplied)
Augustine Mulenga (Supplied)

Cape Town - The current Zambian Player of the Season, Augustine Mulenga, put in a cameo appearance for Orlando Pirates in their 3-1 victory over fellow rivals Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday.

Pirates signed the 27-year-old back in January during the transfer window but an injury delayed his initial appearance for the club.

Mulenga spoke to their official website about his performance and what the Soweto Derby meant for him as he made his debut.

"When I came to this club, I said I wanted to test myself and what better way than to start that test in a Soweto Derby?  All over the world people have an interest in this game, and in Africa, ours is one of the biggest," he said.

"I’m very happy with my contribution, and to have such a positive start and good reaction from the crowd gives me confidence to keep working hard to show myself even more."

The Zambian native sang his coaches and the medical team's praises for getting him ready for the game and being granted the opportunity to represent his club.

"I have to give thanks to the medical team and physios for getting up to speed, and also importantly to the coaches for the opportunity and the trust they showed me.

"When you watch the Derby from afar, you try to imagine what it's like for players.

"When you are part of the mix, you realise that the intensity of preparation is completely different to what you imagined.

"My coaches and teammates played a big role in making me mentally ready for this game because it's not just about the result on the filed but the energy and the mood of the country as a whole." Mulenga told the website.

Augustine, who came on in the second half as a replacement for fellow countryman Justin Shonga, revealed that he used his time on the bench to assess the opposition if he were to be called upon.

"As a new player in any game, more especially when you are on the bench, there are many things that go through your mind,

"I had to stay calm and focused because when people see a new name on the list, there is an expectation that you must do well when you get the chance

"Big games are crucial because they set the tone for how you will continue going forward so I had to stay sharp in my reading of the game, just in case I came on," the Zambian said. 

The forward was eager and prepared for his debut and knew the role he needed to play when he stepped up for the Buccaneers, and he reiterated on the head coach's [Micho Sredojevic] advice.

"Before I came on, the coach told me that I needed to keep it simple and manage the game.

"My role was to help the team with killing off the game in the final 10 minutes and if I find a gap to create a scoring opportunity then its a bonus for us.

"I know they also wanted me to get a run in an important game so that I can take in the atmosphere even more. This was a big confidence boost for me," Mulenga concluded.