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Kaizer Chiefs v Orlando Pirates

Soweto Derby result can cost Orlando Pirates coach Mokwena his job - Obua

3:46 PM IST 06/11/19
David Obua of Kaizer Chiefs
Rhulani Mokwena is under pressure to win this match after losing the previous encounter against Amakhosi, according to a former PSL player

Former Uganda player David Obua has reflected on his experience of being involved in a Soweto Derby as South Africa gears up for the first league encounter of the season between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates on Saturday. 

Obua, who played for Amakhosi in the mid-2000s, spoke fondly of the biggest football match on the South African calendar and how he gave his best whenever he played against the Sea Robbers. 

"When I played for Chiefs, the [Soweto] Derby meant everything to me. I love the club, Kaizer Chiefs, and the way I was treated made me want to always do my best. I always gave everything I had for the team in every game. The Derby matches were overwhelmingly special, and we did our best to win those and bring joy to the fans as best as we could," Obua told the Amakhosi website.

The left-footer scored both home and away against Pirates in the 2005/06 season as Chiefs completed a league double over their nemesis for the first time since 1992. 

He said those are the memories one cannot erase and he's happy he was part of that history with the Glamour Boys. 

"What we achieved in 2005/06 I can’t really explain. Pirates were and still are our biggest rivals and those games against them were always special. It meant a lot to us as it was the first time that we had managed to have beaten them home and away in league games since 1992. To become part of the history of the club was special. When you have the love for the club, it’s always special and you can’t erase those memories. 

"When I played against Pirates, I had a mixture of emotions in the build-up to the games. When you have two of the biggest clubs in South Africa with those number of fans and supporters, you have to give your best to defeat your rivals," he said.  

Obua is still following Amakhosi's progress from Uganda, and he's impressed with how Ernst Middendorp is trying hard to get the best out of his players. 

"I have watched the games and I see coach Ernst Middendorp is managing to get the guys to play to their strengths. Players are working tirelessly and should continue working as a team; everyone is running for each other and when you do that as a group you get the results," added Obua.

The 35-year-old admitted the stakes are always high in any Soweto Derby, adding that coaches could lose their jobs. Ironically, there are calls for Pirates to replace Rhulani Mokwena, who has won just three of his last 12 games across all competitions since taking over on an interim basis from Milutin Sredojevic three months ago.  

But Obua advised Chiefs players to keep calm, focus on the job at hand and get a good result against Pirates.  

"A lot is at stake and the result can cost coaches their jobs. A lot of people put in a lot of work in the build-up to the Derby. Focus on the job at hand and do your best. After you get the result you want, it is always a good feeling to go home and relax," concluded Obua.