South Africa

Riveiro challenges Pirates players to raise hands for starting berths

Jose Riveiro 2

While most DStv Premiership teams would see playing a lower division side in the Nedbank Cup as an opportunity to give fringe players some minutes, Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro believes players need to earn their places in the starting line-up.

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Pirates face third division side Crystal Lake FC in the last 32 of the Ke Yona Cup at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

“It is always (an opportunity for any player to play), but not because we are playing Crystal Lake, it’s the next fixture for us, the next game. And it’s always a competition for the players to show (compete for the starting line-up at training). We have a squad of 34 players available for selection and everyone is pushing to get the opportunity because every game counts. After that we have three games in a space of one week in the league,” said the Bucs coach.

“Everyone is pushing, the new ones… the old ones, they all want to be on the field, trust me. Hopefully, we will get an opportunity to have a look at the new players in the squad and look at what they can put on the table for us. Not because we see this game as an opportunity for anything or test anything. Miguel Timm cannot play this game, he is not part of the players who won’t be in the starting line-up, so let’s see who is taking the opportunity in that position.”

The Buccaneers go into this match knowing very well how hard it is to come up against lower division sides after their run in the competition last year.

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Pirates face Cape Town All Stars, Venda Football Academy and Dondol Stars on their were to be crowned champions.