Absa Premiership

Rakhale in search of first trophy

Thabo Rakhale (Supplied)
Thabo Rakhale (Supplied)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates winger Thabo Rakhale says the Buccaneers are aiming to end their season on a high note by winning the Nedbank Cup.

This year has been about re-writing the wrongs of the past for Pirates, especially the wrongs of late last year that saw the side hit a slump after losing the final of the CAF Confederation Cup.

They have bounced back well, however, to force their way into the top six, something that looked impossible at one point in the campaign.

Rakhale wants to continue re-writing those wrongs by helping the Buccaneers go past Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarter-finals of the Nedbank Cup on Saturday night at Lucas Moripe Stadium to move a step closer to reaching the final and putting their hands on the premier knockout competition trophy.

"I haven't won anything since I started playing professional football," Rakhale told Vodacom Soccer. "I have only reached one final, which was the Confederation Cup and we lost it. Now I want to reach this one and win it."

If the Buccaneers can do that, they would book a place in next year's CAF Confederation Cup, which would give them the chance to exorcise the demons of last year where they lost in the final to Etoile du Sahel.

That defeat was followed by Sundowns humbling Pirates in Pretoria and in Soweto. But this is a different Pirates, more confident, while Sundowns are the one disappointed after bowing out of the CAF Champions League to be relegated into the Confederation Cup.

The turnaround for Pirates started in December, after a loss to Sundowns, when the players and the technical team had an open meeting where they talked about what had brought them to a position where they were fighting to be in the top eight instead of fighting for the championship.

"It hasn't been a good journey for us, we didn't start well this season," Rakhale added. "We told ourselves as players that we want to do well, we want to finish this season on a high note.

"Winning the Nedbank Cup would be a good way of doing that. We have a chance to make ourselves and the supporters happy by finishing this season as champions.

"We know that reaching the final counts for nothing if you don't win it."

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