Absa Premiership

Mabokgwane ready to fight for Pirates place

Jackson Mabokgwane (File)
Jackson Mabokgwane (File)

Cape Town - After keeping a clean-sheet on his official debut for Orlando Pirates, goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane says he's prepared to fight for a regular place in the Bucs' starting XI.

The 28-year-old South African international performed well during Saturday's 1-0 Premiership victory over Free State Stars at the Orlando Stadium where he demonstrated his composure from the back.

Speaking to Vodacom Soccer, an upbeat Mabokgwane said: "It's every goalkeeper's dream to keep a clean sheet in a debut match, and I'm happy to have finally made my official debut in Bucs' colours. 

"But at the same time I realise that I still have a lot of work to do to establish myself as the team's reliable goalkeeper."

He explained: "It's a well-known fact that Brighton (Mhlongo) is the team's first-choice keeper and I'm currently a second choice, so that means I need to double my efforts to secure a berth in the team's starting XI." 

The Polokwane-born goalkeeper, who made the switch to the Soweto giants during the off-season from Mpumalanga Black Aces, took his place between the Bucs' goalposts in Mhlongo's absence due to stomach bug he picked up during national duty with Bafana Bafana in Mozambique last week. 

Mabokgwane added: "Look, Pirates is a big team with huge support base, and when I joined the team I knew I would be competing with the best. I have a healthy competition with Brighton.

"In fact, I have a healthy competition with all Bucs' keepers, including Siyabonga (Mpontshane) and Ovono (Felipe), as we are all fighting for the same team's cause. 

"But, the fact is that there is only one of us who must be in the team's starting XI. 

"And the one who has been given the nod in the starting XI has to grab the chance with both hands," added Mabokgwane, who is likely to feature against Chippa United in Tuesday's Premiership clash at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, kick off is 19:30.