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Mabena and Martin: Orlando Pirates confirm new signings ahead of Premier Soccer League resumption

9:00 PM GMT+4 08/12/2022
Ndumiso Mabena Orlando Pirates.
Premier Soccer League side Orlando Pirates have confirmed the signings of Ndumiso Mabena and Craig Martin.
  • Mabena returns to Bucs
  • Martin to officially join during January transfer window
  • Mabena set to add experience to Pirates’ attacking department

WHAT HAPPENED? The two new players have been brought on board by Bucs before the league resumes after the World Cup break.

Coach Jose Riveiro has decided to go for experience as Mabena is 35 and Martin is 29 respectively.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "Orlando Pirates Football Club are pleased to announce the signing of Ndumiso Mabena and Craig Martin," the club announced.

"Mabena returns to the place he called home between 2009 and 2014 before going on to play for Platinum Stars, Bloemfontein Celtic, and then recently Royal AM. The 35-year-old joins the Buccaneers on a one-and-a-half-season deal.

"Meanwhile, the flying wingback Craig Martin will be joining the Soweto Giants in January following an agreement between the Buccaneers and Cape Town City for an undisclosed fee.

"The 29-year-old signed on the dotted line today for a two-and-a-half-season deal."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mabena has been training with the Soweto giants since September, and the confirmation of his return puts an end to speculation about his future.

He has been a free agent since he parted ways with Royal AM.

On the other hand, the Sea Robbers have finally landed their long-time target, Martin. The star can play as a right-back or a wing-back, and this is set to boost Riveiro’s options along the flanks.

Since his appointment, the tactician has, in most cases, preferred a back three. Namibian forward Deon Hotto has been deployed as a wingback, and Innocent Maela, a natural left-back, shifted to form part of the three-man defensive setup.

The arrival of Mabena is expected to add competition in the striking department. Riveiro has had to experiment with Bienvenu Eva Nga, Kwame Peprah, and Zakhele Lepasa in search of a consistent goal scorer.

Evidence Makgopa and Terrence Dzvukamanja are the other members in that department who have had to deal with incredibly limited playing time.

The signing of Kermit Erasmus from Mamelodi Sundowns looked to have rejuvenated the attacking department just before the season went on a break.

WHAT NEXT FOR PIRATES? The Sea Robbers will face Mamelodi Sundowns on December 30 for a PSL duel.