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Orlando Pirates defender Asavela Mbekile relishes facing Kaizer Chiefs in maiden Soweto Derby

13:04 SAST 2018/11/20
Asavela Mbekile, Orlando Pirates
The former Chippa United and Moroka Swallows player never lost hope as he battled to get into the Bucs starting line-up

Orlando Pirates defender Asavela Mbekile is keen to make his maiden appearance in the Soweto Derby against Kaizer Chiefs this weekend. 

Amakhosi are scheduled to host the Buccaneers in the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup semi-final encounter at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.

“It felt good to play after such a long time. Hopefully, I will get more game time," Mbekile told Daily Sun.

The 32-year-old is a man on a mission as he looks to cement his place in the Bucs starting line-up having struggled for game-time at the beginning of the season.

"The Derby is a big game watched by many people throughout the world. I want to play and will work hard to ensure I am in the team on the day," he continued.

Mbekile, who joined Bucs as a free agent in June 2018 after leaving Mamelodi Sundowns, stated that patience was key as he waited for his chance.

The hardman made his official debut for the Buccaneers during their 3-1 win over AmaZulu FC in the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup quarter-final match in Durban earlier this month.

“I trust the people I work with and waited patiently for my chance. I knew the process would take longer considering the team has quality players and any coach wants to win," he added. 

"When you are on the sidelines you often work more than those playing. I put in my best performance when I got the chance – I never doubted my ability," he said.

Mbekile, who made his second PSL appearance for Bucs against his former side Sundowns before the Fifa international break, stressed the importance of having a strong mindset when you are not playing. 

“Having a clear mindset is so important. I worked on my fitness and spent time with people who make me happy outside football. It kept me motivated," he concluded.