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Ex-Orlando Pirates coach Palacios lists reasons why Buccaneers should sign Mabena

12:43 PM GMT 09/11/2022
Ndumiso Mabena, Orlando Pirates, September 2022
Former Orlando Pirates coach Augusto Palacios has encouraged the Soweto giants to give Ndumiso Mabena another chance by signing the striker.
  • Mabena has been training with Pirates for the past few weeks
  • The 35-year-old is a former Bucs player, a club he left in 2014
  • Palacios feels Mabena would be a good signing

WHAT HAPPENED? Mabena is a free agent and has been training with Pirates since September. But the club is yet to make a decision on the 35-year-old, with coach Jose Rivairo at one time saying it is up to club management to make a call on the striker. Palacios, who once coached Mabena during his brief stint as Pirates interim coach in 2012, has explained reasons why he thinks the player should be handed a contract. Mabena is a former Buccaneers player who previously spent five seasons at the club before going elsewhere for spells at Platinum Stars, Bloemfontein Celtic and more recently, Royal AM.

WHAT PALACIOS SAID: “When a good striker is available you must always use that chance,” Palacios told Sowetan Live. “Mabena is a top player... very experienced, so if Pirates have a chance to sign him why not? He knows the culture of the club and he's talented, so I don't see why he must not be given another chance. He will improve other strikers by challenging them. For me, age is just a number. In football talent and ability should count more than age.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pirates have improved in defence and Riveiro is still trying to fix his team upfront. Before the start of the season, they signed Bienvenu Eva Nga who is now struggling for game time. They also added Evidence Makgopa but the lanky forward is yet to make his Buccaneers debut due to injury. Zakhele Lepasa has not been a prolific scorer while Kwame Peprah is no longer a regular. The return of Kermit Erasmus offers them hope upfront.


WHAT NEXT FOR MABENA? As Mabena continues to train with Pirates, he would be hoping to make it hard for Riveiro and club chiefs not to sign him. If he is signed, his next biggest task would be becoming a regular starter.