Lorenzo Gordinho of Kaizer Chiefs during the Kaizer Chiefs media open day at Naturena, Johannesburg, on August 7, 2019. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEE WARREN
Lorenzo Gordinho of Kaizer Chiefs during the Kaizer Chiefs media open day at Naturena, Johannesburg, on August 7, 2019. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEE WARREN

Lorenzo Gordinho says he grew as a player on loan at Bloemfontein Celtic‚ and is determined to become a regular in the heart of Kaizer Chiefs’ defence this season.

In all, Gordinho played 27 Premiership games and was almost an ever-present at centre-back in his one-year loan at Celtic that spanned the second half of the 2017/2018 season and the first half of the last campaign.

He returned to Chiefs in January but was not fielded much under coach Ernst Middendorp‚ making just two league starts and coming off the bench once.

Gordinho’s form in the first half of last season helped the financially troubled Celtic get out of the blocks quickly‚ eventually ending in eighth place on the log.

The 25-year-old said he accumulated knowledge and experience when playing at Siwelele.

“It was beneficial because I played more than 20 games‚” Gordinho said. “It was good experiencing a different environment from Chiefs‚ understanding how things work at other clubs.

“Being at a team like Bloem was good to experience their support base‚ playing with new players. And we had a patch where we were doing really well there‚ so it was good.”

Gordinho hopes to re-establish himself as a regular again at Chiefs‚ as he was in the 2016/2017 season‚ playing 25 games.

He seems to be behind Eric Mathoho and Daniel Cardoso in the centre-back pecking order right now.

But Middendorp has already used Gordinho twice in Amakhosi’s two league games this season — as a makeshift left-back in their opening league 3-2 away win against Highlands Park‚ then as a late substitute in Saturday’s 1-0 victory against Black Leopards in Durban.

“I’d like to be playing regularly again‚ of course‚” Gordinho said.

“When I came back before the end of last season‚ a lot was going on here at the Village. Things had not gone well‚ especially after we lost the Nedbank Cup final [against First Division TS Galaxy].

“But I think once we came back from the off-season you could see the mentality had changed a lot.

“The team has grown‚ we’ve become stronger‚ we’ve become a unit. And I think now we understand what we did wrong last season and how we can rectify that now,” Gordinho said.