Defending MTN 8 champions Orlando Pirates will begin their title defense when they face Sekhukhune United on Saturday at Orlando stadium.

Both sides met in three encounters last season including the Nedbank Cup final where the Buccaneers won the match 2-1 and completed their double after a few years of drought season.

ALSO READ: Ntseki: Everything at Kaizer Chiefs is pressure

The Buccaneers’ head coach Jose Riveiro believes it’s going to be difficult for his team when they play against Babina Noko due to the tactics and how Sekhukhune applies themselves on the field of play.

“It’s a well-organised team, patient in their approach and they have different ways of playing during the game. It’s very uncomfortable to play against them. We know it and it’s not going to be an exception on Saturday, but we’re prepared,” Riveiro said.

However, the Spaniard is hoping the Sea Robbers fans will give their support on Saturday by coming to the stadium in order to have the advantage to go through to the next round of the tournament.

“When we say playing at home, it’s an advantage. It’s because you can get the support and warmth from your fans,” he said.

“I’m sure they understand how important [their support] is going to be in a game like this. It’s a knockout game and hopefully, they’ll come in numbers to Orlando and support us all the way because it can really be an extra advantage for us.”

ORLANDO PIRATES COACH EXPECTS DIFFICULT ENCOUNTER WHEN THEY FACE SEKHUKHUNE

Riveiro insists the expectations are still the same at his club even though they won the MTN 8 last season. He believes every time his team go to the field, they are carrying the history of the club hence every game they play they want to win it.

“No, you think if we were not champions it was going to be a friendly game for us? It’s the same,” he stated.

“Every time we go to the field, we’re carrying the history of the club and the expectations of our fans. It’s a must to go to every game with the intention to win. Maybe that’s what you call pressure in this case, but it’s positive pressure.

“We’re representing a big club, we know it. It’s not in our mind to not be there fighting until the last second for a victory. It doesn’t matter whether there’s pressure or no pressure. We want to go through and we know what we need.”

Pirates have returned to winning ways after an impressive performance on Tuesday when they beat Royal AM 4-2 at Orlando Stadium.

By Katleho Hlalele

Soweto Giants Orlando Pirates have announced the appointment of former Yanga SC Conditioning Coach Helmi Gueldich. Gueldich brings with him a wealth of experience having recently worked as the Strength and Conditioning coach for Tanzanian League Champions, Yanga SC.

ALSO READ: CONFIRMED: Lesedi Kapinga joins Orlando Pirates

“Notably, Gueldich is not only a seasoned professional. But also a former player, holding a Ph.D. in Exercise Science,” the PSL club announced on Thursday.

Orlando Pirates appoint former Yanga coach Helmi Gueldich
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro

“His wealth of knowledge and background will be a valuable asset to the team. This appointment couldn’t come at a more crucial time, as the Buccaneers are gearing up to compete in five challenging competitions this season.”

DEMANDING SCHEDULE PROMPTS APPOINTMENT OF HELMI GUELDICH

“The demanding schedule makes it imperative that the players remain consistently available for selection. Helmi Gueldich will be collaborating closely with Michel Bellver. Forming a dynamic partnership that is poised to elevate Jose Riveiro’s technical team to new heights.”

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Molefe Ntseki has come to the defense of Brandon Petersen following his costly mistakes in their loss against Mamelodi Sundowns.

Sundowns edged Amakhosi 2-1 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, to move to the top of the DStv Premiership table by goal difference, as they tied on six points with Cape Town City.

Amakhosi were 1-0 down at the break, courtesy of first-half Sundowns’ outstanding performance, as Ntseki labeled his side’s display a bad one, plus a calamitous error by Petersen and his defense line, which allowed Downs’ Ribeiro Costa to score in the 21st minute.

However, Chiefs equalized through Ashley Du Preez, just six minutes before the final whistle. A goal that probably made many think the game could have been a draw.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Molefi Ntseki defends Brandon Petersen after costly mistakes
Brandon Petersen

MOLEFE NTSEKI DEFENDS BRANDON PETERSEN FOLLOWING HIS MISTAKES

Nonetheless, Amakhosi coach went out to protect his keeper after the match during his post-match press conference.
The Chiefs boss also insisted it would be unfair to blame Petersen for their loss, and that his mistake is similar to other daily basis ones as it happens in football.

“When it comes to Brandon (Petersen), I think things like this do happen in football,” Ntseki said after the match.
 
“If we were to count how many times he came out to save the team, we would nullify the mistakes he made and let it go. Anything that happens in a game of football is a team effort.

“If we were to trace back and look where the first mistake was made, it was not only about him letting in the goal, but the whole team made a mistake and that’s how we conceded.”

RULANI MOKWENA HEAPS PRAISE TO KAIZER CHIEFS KEEPER

Interestingly, on the other hand, Masandawana coach Rulani Mokwena has also praised Petersen despite his two mistakes during the match.
Mokwena believes that Chiefs’ skipper deserved to be man of the match. An award that was given to his player, Tapelo Maseko.

“We have to give credit to the goalkeeper. I thought Brandon Peterson was the man of the match in my opinion,” Mokwena said.

“We have to give credit to him because we created many chances, but we couldn’t score. Also, we give credit to Chiefs for being good opponents in a big game like this.”

Chiefs will now have to swiftly switch their focus to the MTN8 Cup. They vist8 Cape Town City at the Athlone Stadium on Sunday, 13 August. The match is set for 15h00.

By Clifton Mabasa

Orlando Pirates lost 1-0 against Stellenbosch in their 2023/24 DStv Premiership opening match of the season on Saturday evening. Antonio van Wyk scored the only goal of the match three minutes before the halftime break at a sold-out Danie Craven Stadium. 

OTHER DSTV PREMIERSHIP RESULTS ON SATURDAY 

SuperSport United won 2-0 against Richards Bay at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane. The Tshwane giants will now travel to Durban where they are scheduled to face AmaZulu FC on Wednesday.

Royal AM drew 0-0 with their KwaZulu-Natal rivals AmaZulu FC in their opening DStv Premiership match played at the Harry Gwala Stadium. Thwihli Thwahla will take on Orlando Pirates in Soweto on Tuesday.

ALSO READ: CONFIRMED: Lesedi Kapinga joins Orlando Pirates

AmaZulu, on the other hand, will also be in action on Wednesday when they lock horns with SuperSport United. 

Tshegofatso Mabasa rescued a point for Moroka Swallows as they held Golden Arrows to a 1-1 draw at the Mpumalanga Stadium.

Orlando Pirates lose to Stellenbosch in DStv Premiership season opener
Orlando Pirates against Stellenbosch

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS WIN FIRST MATCH OF THE SEASON

On Friday, Mamelodi Sundowns claimed a hard-fought 2-1 win over Sekhukhune United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium. Both teams ended the game with 10-men on the pitch.

Goals from Peter Shalulile and Lucas Costa were enough for Downs to bag maximum points on away soil. Jamie Webber pulled one back for his side at the hour mark. Vusimusi Mncube and Rivaldo Coetzee were sent off for early showers during the match.

Golden Arrows 1-1 Moroka Swallows

Supersport Utd 2-0 Richards Bay 

Royal AM 0-0 AmaZulu  

Stellenbosch 1-0 Orlando Pirates 

TS Galaxy have announced the signing of 12 new players including former Orlando Pirates striker Thamsanqa Gabuza. The Rockets made the unveiling at a ceremony held at Solomon Mahlangu Stadium in KwaMhlanga, Mpumalanga.

The annual pre-season ceremony was also attended by community members in the area as well as traditional leaders.

ALSO READ: A new initiative for fans announced for the upcoming DStv Premiership

Galaxy recently parted ways with some of their players including Bathusi Aubaas who is on the verge of joining Mamelodi Sundowns. Two former Marumo Gallants players Mpho Mvelase and Thato Khiba were also unveiled by the Mpumalanga-based club.

NEW SIGNINGS AT TS GALAXY

The 12 new signings are as follows: Thamsanqa Gabuza, Fiacre Ntwari, Solomom Letsoenyo, Samukelo Kabini, Mpho Mvelase, Thabang Rakwena, Thabang Semache, Thato Khiba, Higor Vidal, Bradley Mojela and Latif Bamba.

“We looked at the positions where we need players,” club Chairman Tim Sukazi told the media.

“As you know, we also afford a good number of our players to play at other clubs. So we had to fill those gaps.”

TS Galaxy unveils the signing of Thamsanqa Gabuza
TS Galaxy

THAMSANQA GABUZA SIGNING EXPLAINED

“We have always wanted one player at centre forward, and we believe Gabuza has the energy and the right attitude to help us. The way we play, he will add value, and we will definitely start scoring goals a lot,” he said.

Galaxy will open their 2023/24 campaign with a home clash against Cape Town Spurs in Mbombela on Sunday, 6 August.

By Khotso Ramalatswa

Orlando Pirates has confirmed the signing of Lesedi Kapinga from Mamelodi Sundowns ahead of the 2023/24 season.

According to the club website the 28-year-old attacking midfielder, who recently played for Bafana Bafana in the COSAFA Cup, has put pen to paper on a three-year deal.

ALSO READ: Dondol Stars Keeper joins Orlando Pirates

Lesedi Kapinga joins other Pirates new signings including Patrick Maswanganyi, Melusi Buthelezi and Katlego Otladisa at Bucs.

Former Black Leopards attacker has been given the number 21 shirt at the Soweto Giants and arrives after scoring four goals with seven assists in 39 games at Masandawana.

CONFIRMED: Lesedi Kapinga joins Orlando Pirates
Lesedi Kapinga

LESEDI KAPINGA FINDS A NEW HOME

“I am pleased to join the Club,” said Kapinga.

“I’m not much of a talker because talk is cheap. All I’m focused on is to start training and working my way back to playing the game I love.”

Orlando Pirates, who held their preseason camp in Spain, kick off their season with their DStv Premiership match against Stellenbosch FC at Danie Craven Stadium on 5 August.

By Katleho Hlalele 

ABC Motsepe League’s Dondol Stars goalkeeper Sphamandla Gumede has joined the DStv Premiership club Orlando Pirates ahead of the 2023/2024 season.

Stars confirmed the departure of Gumede on Monday morning, with the goalkeeper having signed with the PSL giants for an undisclosed contract.

Gumede was linked with a move to Richards Bay after his stellar performance in the Nedbank Cup tournament in April. But the deal fell out, with Pirates moving swiftly to snatch him.

It was reported last week that Jose Riveiro’s side was closing in on a deal to sign the 28-year-old, a move that is now sealed.

SPHAMANDLA GUMEDE JOINS ORLANDO PIRATES

The Gauteng ABC Motsepe League team has confirmed that Gumede is now a Buccaneer player. But LimSportsZone understands that he’s likely to be loaned out in the upcoming season for game time. With Pirates already having three goalkeepers in their squad.

“We are proudly delighted to announce that our goalkeeper Sphamandla Gumede also known as Spider Kid has become the Bauccaneers’ latest signing,” Dondol Stars’ statement reads.

“From all of us at Dondol Stars, thank you Spider kid for the incredible season we had with you. History was made, from conceding fewer goals in our previous season. Your nomination in the PSL awards and to being ranked the best goalkeeper save in the Nedbank Cup by Supersport.

Dondol Stars Keeper Sphamandla Gumede joins Orlando Pirates
Sphamandla Gumede

“Thank you for serving Chabarefete badge with such great honour and integrity. We wish you all the best on your new chapter with Orlando Pirates Football Club. You will forever be part of us.”

OTHER PLAYERS WHO LEFT DONDOL STARS FOR PSL TEAMS

After their remarkable 2022/2023 season in the ABC league, Dondol have also lost plenty of their players to DStv Premiership and Motsepe Foundation Championship teams, respectively.

Stars went as far as the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup. Having been eliminated by Gumede’s new team, Orlando Pirates following a 5-4 loss on penalties at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane. Stars’ player, Thabang Mnyembane has joined the 2023 Nedbank Cup finalist, Sekhukhune United. Meanwhile, Francious Baloyi signed with Polokwane City.

Tebogo Makungo, who scored against Pirates, has also become a University of Pretoria player for the upcoming season. While goalkeeper coach, Tada Musibe will be doing his job at SuperSport United.

By Clifton Mabasa

DStv Premiership side SuperSport United have confirmed the signing of Zimbabwean International Terrence Dzvukamanja for an undisclosed transfer fee. Dzvukamanja spent the past two seasons at Soweto giants Orlando Pirates.

Although he struggled for game time, he was one of the key players last season. He also scored the winner when the Buccaneers lifted the Nedbank Cup trophy.

ALSO READ: Phathutshedzo Nange joins SuperSport United

Pirates had expressed an intention to keep the 29-year-old but were later surprised upon hearing of his intentions to move on to United.

SuperSport United announce the signing of Terrence Dzvukamanja
Terrence Dzvukamanja

TERRENCE DZVUKAMANJA REUNITES WITH GAVIN HUNT AT SUPERSPORT

Matsatsantsa head coach Gavin Hunt expressed his delight in reuniting with Dzvukamanja. The two worked together at now-defunct Bidvest Wits.

”I know him very well as I have signed him before. He is a versatile top player and can play in multiple positions, which is what we need,” he said. “We are happy to have him. He is a good goal scorer and can also play in areas where you need a player.”

By Staff reporter

Orlando Pirates have issued an official statement on Terrence Dzvukamanja who is heading to SuperSport United. Dzvukamanja was not part of the Pirates’ pre-season tour to Spain.

This comes as the PSL giants were also under the impression that the Zimbabwean was home sorting out personal issues. But it turns out the 29-year-old has moved on to SuperSport United. He is set to reunite with coach Gavin Hunt whom he worked together with at SuperSport.

TERRENCE DZUKAMANJA JOINS SUPERSPORT UNITED

“Terrence Dzvukamanja approached the club pleading to be released to play in Zimbabwe to be close to home in order to address pressing family matters,” the club said in a statement on Monday.

“After consideration, the club offered to pay his salary whilst sorting out his personal issues at home. The Club acceded to this on compassionate grounds.

“As part of the Club’s commitment to players’ welfare, Orlando Pirates makes an effort to, where possible, meet the players’ requests in circumstances that help amongst other things, their mental wellbeing,” they said.

Terrence Dzvukamanja ditch Orlando Pirates for SuperSport United
Terrence Dzvukamanja

ORLANDO PIRATES BID FAREWELL TO THEIR STRIKER

The Club was therefore surprised by an approach from SuperSport United for the player’s services since the Club had made plans to include the player in their CAF Champions League squad. With this new development, the Club will release Dzvukamanja to SuperSport United. 

The fixtures of the DStv Premiership 2023/2024 campaign have been leaked, with the opening round starting on the first weekend of August.

The outstanding fixture of the opening weekend of the season will see reigning champions Mamelodi Sundowns begin the defense of their league title with a tricky-looking trip to Polokwane to face Sekhukhune United on the 4th of August at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium.

ALSO READ: No more freebies stadium at Malamulele Stadium

On the 5th, Steve Khompela’s Moroka Swallows start away as they meet Golden Arrows at the Mpumalanga Stadium. Royal AM will visit AmaZulu at the Chatsworth Stadium for the KwaZulu-Natal derby.

Stellenbosch will have to prepare to face the last season’s MTN8 and Nedbank Cup winners, Orlando Pirates at the Danie Craven Stadium.

2023/24 DStv Premiership fixtures leaked
New Peter Mokaba Stadium

Meanwhile, SuperSport United welcomes Richards Bay at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

On the other hand, a well-anticipated team to be watched as the season kicks off, Kaizer Chiefs, will have to do it against Chippa United at the FNB Stadium on the 6th.

And of the newly-promoted sides, Polokwane City have also been handed a tough task as they travel to Cape Town to face Cape Town City at the Athlone Stadium. Whilst Cape Town Spurs also begin by visiting TS Galaxy in Mbombela.

OPENING 2023/24 DSTV PREMIERSHIP FXITURES

Friday, 04 August 2023

Sekhukhune United v Mamelodi Sundowns

Saturday, 05 August 2023

Golden Arrows v Moroka Swallows

Royal AM v AmaZulu

Stellenbosch v Orlando Pirates

SuperSport United v Richards Bay

Sunday, 06 August 2023

Kaizer Chiefs v Chippa United

TS Galaxy v Cape Town Spurs

Cape Town City v Polokwane City

Meanwhile, the dates for the domestic cup finals have also been revealed. The MTN8 is set to play on Saturday, 7 October 2023. The Carling Cup will also take place on Saturday, 16 December 2023.

The Nedbank Cup will take place on Saturday, 1 June 2024 while the DStv Premiership will end on Saturday, 25 May 2024.

By Clifton Mabasa