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Mokwena: New players must be integrated with Orlando Pirates system

13:41 BST 15/07/2019
Rhulani Mokwena assistant coach of Orlando Pirates
The highly-rated tactician explained that the Bucs technical team is busy integrating new players ahead of the new campaign

Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena says there is no better way to test a team’s readiness than playing friendly matches.

The Buccaneers recently defeated National First Division (NFD) sides TS Sporting and TS Galaxy, 4-0 and 1-0 respectively, in Rustenburg, North West in the first phase of their pre-season preparations.

“There’s a massive importance to playing these friendlies and we have already seen some of those successes in the first phase of our pre-season," Mokwena told club's website.

"Our game model requires a lot of football actions which need players to be in the best physical condition. Putting those football actions to the test in the early stages of our preparation affords us the opportunity that we need to get it right.

"Another important aspect of these games is for the integration of our new players, so that they too can come to grips with how we play, and they have the opportunity to see it in action as well."

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) giants will now travel to Cape Town where they are scheduled to play two more friendly matches, which is the second phase of their pre-season preparations.

Mokwena believes playing reigning MTN8 Cup champions Cape Town City and newly-promoted PSL side Stellenbosch will give the team much-needed competition ahead of the start of the new season.

“We welcome the return to Cape Town, having played here last year as well. The challenge of playing stiff opposition in the form of the two PSL sides will speak to the requirements that we have in the current phase of our loading," he said.

"The increased level of resistance will greatly assist our periodisation and also help develop our game model and tactical principles even further.

"We are continuing to work on the game minutes for each player as well, as we look to continue the process of improving our standards of performance so that we are ready for the fixture schedule that we will be faced with both domestically and in Caf."

Pirates are scheduled to face Kaizer Chiefs in the 2019 Carling Black Label Cup match on Saturday, July 27.

Before starting their 2019/20 PSL campaign against Bloemfontein Celtic at the Orlando Stadium on August 3.