Orlando Pirates

Orlando Pirates fans are expectant on Soweto Derby Day. Image: BackpagePix

Goalkeeper returns to Orlando Pirates, another loan imminent?

Can’t see Gumede getting much game time.

Orlando Pirates

Orlando Pirates fans are expectant on Soweto Derby Day. Image: BackpagePix

Goalkeeper Sphamandla Gumede returns to Orlando Pirates after a loan spell in the NFD with Orbit College.

Gumede is back at Orlando Pirates, but will he get game time?

22-year-old Sphamandla Gumede joined the Sea Robbers at the start of the 2023-2024 campaign after shining for ABC Motsepe League side Dondol Stars. He spent the campaign on loan at Motsepe Foundation Championship newbies Orbit College. They sat atop the standings for 16 weeks but eventually finished ninth, securing their status in the division at the first time of asking.

iDiskiTimes reports that Gumede will return to Pirates for pre-season in time for their European adventure.

Goalkeeping depth in abundance

After Siyabonga Mpontshane and Richard Ofori left the club, they’re still in rude health in the goalkeeping department. Nedbank Cup final hero Sipho Chaine saved a penalty against Sundowns in the showpiece game and is the official number one. Melusi Buthelezi is his understudy, while Pirsates are strongly linked with talented Chippa and Nigeria stopper Stanley Nwabali.

Kaizer Chiefs Nwabali Chippa
Stanley Nwabali trains with Chippa United in Gqeberha. Will he make a big-money switch to Pirates? Image: @chippaunitedfc/X.

Bucs are blessed at the back

Jose Riveiro’s domestic cup double winners have an embarrassment of riches in central defensive areas. They’ve got Tapeolo Xoki, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Thabang Sesane and Olisa Ndah vying for two places, while the potential arrival of Thabang Matuludi would add further depth and perhaps make one of the existing players’ futures more uncertain. Matuludi made 29 league appearances for Polokwane in the 2023-2024 season, proving how consistent and reliable the 25-year-old has become. Unplayable on X believes Stellenbosch will compete with Pirates for Matuludi’s signature.

Kermit leaves Pirates

Kermit Erasmus joined the Buccaneers for the second time from Sundowns in September 2022 after feverish speculation linking him with a switch to Kaizer Chiefs. The seasoned striker has spent stints in France, Portugal and the Netherlands before settling back into South African football in 2019. It’s anyone’s bet where he could end up in 2024-25 following his release by Pirates after making only six league appearances last term. That’s 20% of the matches. After so much promise, the twilight years of his career have been underwhelming in comparison.

Should Pirates keep Gumede or will he be loaned out again?

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