Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic. Picture: SYDNEY MAHLANGU/BACKPAGEPIX
Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic. Picture: SYDNEY MAHLANGU/BACKPAGEPIX

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has warned the club’s new signings there is no easy entry to his team — but the Bucs mentor also voiced his happiness with the integration of the new faces.

Pirates have strengthened their squad for the new season with impressive additions such as Maritzburg United pair Fortune Makaringe and Siphesihle Ndlovu‚ Tebogo Tlolane from Chippa United and the Bloemfontein Celtic trio of Bongani Sam‚ Kabelo Dlamini and Tshegofatso Mabasa. 

They will have to work hard for a place in his side, he said.

“There is no automatic place in the team. This is something that you need to earn‚” he said as Pirates continued their pre-season preparations in Cape Town.

“You need to deserve‚ to earn‚ before you can be considered. You need to adjust‚ adapt‚ acclimatise. They have to understand everything that is demanded of them.”

But the coach is happy with the new signings: “We believe that we are stronger. We have pressed the right buttons and brought the right players that will fit perfectly.

“They are very good boys who have been like sponges‚ absorbing all the tactics and they have adjusted and acclimatised well to our ways. I believe that we have the right players that are working very hard to be part of the Orlando Pirates way of playing.”

Other new players are Belgian goalkeeper Joris Delle‚ striker Gabadinho Mhango from Bidvest Wits and Zambian import Kaunda Muwowo.

“We’ve really just picked up from where we stopped at the end of last season‚ even with several new players coming‚” Sredojevic said.

“Their integration has gone well‚ plus the fact that the other players know what the demands are‚ the formula that helps us to put ourselves into a competitive mood.

“The new players have fitted into the puzzle perfectly and it’s really looking good for the season ahead.

“We provided for altitude training in the first three weeks of our preseason training in Johannesburg and Rustenburg where we laid a platform for this part.

“Now we get to play four friendly matches in six days in Cape Town and we are looking to polish what we set as a platform.

“We are playing matches that are giving us competitive fitness‚ where we are trying tactical variations‚ and this is behind the intention of coming here.

“This is the second phase‚ where you check how competitive you are in all aspects‚ because the start of the season is just around the corner.”