Monnapule Saleng

Orlando Pirates’ Saleng reveals the secret to his awesome form

  • Saleng explained the advise he gets from senior Pirates players
  • The winger also puts in an extra shift in training to improve
  • 24-year-old has nine goals & four assists for his club this season

WHAT HAPPENED? Saleng explained the role senior Pirates players are playing in his career, added to the extra shift he has had to put in, to help him go on a great goal scoring run that has left him being touted as a possible PSL Player of the Year for 2022-23.

The 24-year-old won his second straight Man of the Match award when he inspired the Soweto giants to a 2-1 win over Maritzburg United on Friday, scoring one goal before providing the assist for Terrence Dzvukamanja to net the second.

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It was his fifth league goal of the campaign and his fourth in the last six games in all competitions, showing how he has become instrumental to Pirates this season.

The left-footed winger has taken his game to another level since returning to the club following a loan stint at Swallows FC last season when he managed just two goals and as many assists in 29 matches while he has already netted nine times and set up four for his teammates in 16 appearances in 2022-23.

While coach Jose Riveiro has been rightly lauded for turning around his game, especially his positioning and finishing, the player says his teammates have equally played a key role which makes it easy for him to put in an extra effort.

WHAT DID HE SAY? “My teammates, especially the senior players have been pushing me,” Saleng told the club media as quoted by FarPost.

“They [teammates] can see where I want to see myself. So, they always push me at training, and I’m happy to be around them.

“The experienced players are constantly advising me, making me very happy. So, my form starts from training. The way I train is how I play matches, and I don’t have any rest.

“I’m always doing extra training even when I’m at home. I want to constantly be at the top every game.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Saleng has become Pirates’ go-to man this season, especially in the PSL, with his five goals and four assists at a time when the club’s strikers Kermit Erasmus and Terrence Dzvukamanja have disappointed.

Erasmus, who had been Riveiro’s preferred man up front, has managed just one goal and two assists, forcing the Spanish tactician to recall Dzvukamanja from the cold and Zimbabwe international has responded with two goals and an assist in his last six matches.

The Buccaneers will need Saleng to keep scoring as they chase a second place finish in the league as well as the Nedbank Cup, after claiming the MTN8 last November.

WHAT’S NEXT? Riveiro’s men have the Soweto derby against city rivals Kaizer Chiefs next Saturday.

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