JOHANNESBURG – Orlando Pirates’ new goalkeeper Richard Ofori understands the expectations that come with donning the famous black and white jersey of the club but concedes the team will need to pull in one direction this season.
At the start of the ongoing transfer window, rumours were rife that Pirates had finally secured the services of the Ghanaian No 1 from Maritzburg United after a lengthy process of looking for a goalkeeper who could compete with Wayne Sandilands for the No 1 jersey.
Taking to their social media platforms yesterday, Pirates finally unveiled Ofori, with defender Puleng Tlolane joining the Team of Choice.
Given that Pirates are one of the teams at the top in the hierarchy of South African football, Ofori is well aware of what’s at stake in his new job but stressed that he’ll also need his teammates to come to the fore if they are to challenge for silverware this season.
“It’s a team sport and at the end of the day, you need to be one and try to win things. I am here to work but I can’t do it alone. We need to move as a team. I know that as a team we can do a lot for the Orlando Pirates family,” Ofori said.
Ofori became the sixth signing for coach Josef Zinnbauer during this transfer window, the club having already lured Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo, Terrence Dzvukamanja, Deon Hotto, Thabang Monare, Wayde Jooste and Collins Makgaka to Mayfair.
With Hlatshwayo and club captain Happy Jele in the heart of Pirates’ defence this season, supported by wing-backs Jooste and Innocent Maela as right and left, Ofori can’t wait to get the ball rolling at his new club.
“It’s a very good feeling to play with big giants. It’s a very good feeling because normally when you are playing, you’ll be in front of the team, but now when you look around you have people around that you know can fight for the badge,” Ofori said.
Ofori is looking forward to hitting the ground running at Bucs, especially after reuniting with former coach, and current assistant, Fadlu Davids, who brought him to Maritzburg three years ago.
Ofori is expected to be part of the match-day squad when the Buccaneers – who clash with arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8 semi-finals – begin their DStv Premiership campaign at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium against AmaZulu on Saturday (8.15pm kickoff).