Matlaba relishing 'healthy rivalry' with Van Heerden at Orlando Pirates

The South Africa international believes that the duo will add value to Bucs' defence ahead of the second round of the 2016/17 campaign

Orlando Pirates defender Thabo Matlaba is looking forward to competing with Marc Van Heerden for a place in the starting line-up.

Left-back Van Heerden and centre back James Okwuosa both joined Bucs from Chippa United during the recent January Transfer Window.

Van Heerden, who is a former South Africa international, is expected to compete with Matlaba and Patrick Phungwayo at left-back.

"Marc is a hardworking, quality fullback, who will undoubtedly bring vast experience to the team's defence," Matlaba told Vodacom Soccer.

"Of course, his presence will also give a bit more competition in the team's left-back position," he continued.

"That means there will be more competition between me, Patrick (Phungwayo) and Marc for a starting berth, which means there's a healthy competition in the team."

"Look, I'm a professional and believe in my ability as a player, so I'm always ready for competition, because competition is a name of the game," he added.

"Yes, I am a regular at the team's left-back position, but that doesn't mean I should treat any new player with whom I will compete for a position as a threat."

"So, I treat Marc along with James (Okwuosa) as the ones who will be adding value at our team's defence," he concluded.

Matlaba and his Pirates team-mates are currently preparing for their PSL clash with Platinum Stars at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Wednesday night.

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