Orlando Pirates: Mokwena backs Mabasa to end Bafana’s goal drought

Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena believes that his striker Tshegofatso Mabasa has the qualities to be an international success.

Mabasa opened his Pirates account with a match-winning brace against Chippa United in his first Premiership start for the Buccaneers.

Orlando Pirates believe in Mabasa

The 22-year-old joined Pirates at the outset of this season from Bloemfontein Celtic in a deal believed to be worth around R6.5-million.

Orlando Pirates were not alone in their pursuit and admiration of the young striker, who netted ten goals in 22 appearances for Celtic last season.

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Tshegofatso Mabasa of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 game between Ajax Cape Town and Bloemfontein Celtic at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on 13 May 2017 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Mabasa has already been tipped for higher honours by club legends and football pundits and now Mokwena has joined the discussion. 

Mokwena sees Mabasa as the full package as a player. Someone who can be relied upon to give his best at all times and a top-quality talent. The coach says that Mabasa is humble and teachable and a dream to have in his squad.

The Pirates boss has tipped Mabasa to end Bafana Bafana’s long search for a top striker.

“Top boy; top human being. I don’t want to even talk about his football qualities, I think that was there for everybody to see [against Chippa],” said Mokwena.

“But he’s a top human being, an extremely intelligent boy who is coachable and with a lot of potential. He’s still not ready hey, he needs a lot of humility and to keep his feet grounded.”

Mokwena believes that if Mabasa’s progression is handled correctly, he could be an international star to rival the likes of Benni McCarthy.

A bright future for the young star

Bafana Bafana have scored just five goals in their last eight competitive appearances and have lacked a natural goalscorer for some time.

Pirates themselves have suffered some frustration in front of goal in recent matches, being unable to turn good build-up play into goalscoring opportunties.

Mokwena believes Mabasa could be a once-in-a-generation striking talent.

“He’s got a bright future, Mokwena added, “and the good thing is that he’s South African, because for a long time we haven’t seen a good South African striker coming through.

“And the boy shows a lot of promise, and hopefully he can be the solution to assist this country in terms of producing top strikers.”

Mabasa has been tipped to retain his place in the starting XI for Orlando Pirates’ trip to Durban to face Bidvest Wits at Moses Mabhida stadium on Saturday 21 September.

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