Orlando Pirates Co-Coach Fadlu Davids has confirmed that Richard Ofori is now back in contention to play, following injury.
Ofori had been sidelined since a 2022 Qatar World Cup Qualifier for Ghana against Bafana Bafana with Pirates using Siyabonga Mpontshane since.
Mpontshane has been Pirates number one
Mpontshane has been given the time to assert himself as Pirates’ number one goalkeeper since then, and it seems like he has impressed the club’s management. In Ofori’s absence, the competition for Mpontshane has come from the likes of veteran goal minder Wayne Sandilands, as well as two young goal keepers in Kopano Thuntsane and Elson Sithole. Sandilands, who doubles up as a goalkeeper coach at the Buccs has been sat on the bench 22 times this season.
The young duo of Thuntsane and Sithole on the other hand, have both been selected in Pirates’ senior match day squad twice and once respectively so far this season. It now seems as if the young duo will be allowed to go back to the club’s DStv Diski Challenge structures, as Ofori has been rendered ready for a return to the first team playing fold, following a full recovery from his troublesome shoulder injury. Davids has explained the process that Ofori has had to go through.
Ofori status revealed
“In the beginning Ofori with his shoulder operation. Last week, we were hoping Ofori will be available for the Cape Town City match, and then it was a question of Ofori being available and having two training sessions before the derby, is it too soon or is it not (to play him). But that competition is there, and you have to look at the status of Ofori. How he is training and how he is looking. How many friendly matches he has had? He has passed the minimum standards and has had his rehabilitation plan and now it’s competition.” Said Davids to the media, as per KickOff.com
“That department is now fully fit, with all three competing for a place, and we will make a decision like we always do in every match for the next match,” concluded Davids.
Who will start against Gallants?
Pirates are set to take on Marumo Gallants in a Nedbank Cup round of 16 fixture on Wednesday and it would be interesting to see if Ofori will finally get his opportunity to return between the sticks.