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Soweto Derby is massive: De Sa

Orlando Pirates coach Roger De Sa is looking forward to his first win against Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto Derby at Soccer City on Saturday.

JOHANNESBURG — Orlando Pirates coach Roger De Sa is looking forward to his first win against Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto Derby at Soccer City on Saturday.


De Sa is yet to win against Chiefs since joining Pirates towards the end of last season.

The Mighty Buccaneers have lost once against Amakhosi this year after being beaten 1-0 during the Carling Black Label Cup at Soccer City recently.

De Sa says he is very motivated to get his first win against the Phefeni Glamour Boys in the MTN8 semi-final on Saturday.

“To play Kaizer Chiefs is always a pleasure. It’s a great occasion and it is very easy to motivate the players.

“We got a couple of knocks and injury niggles against Zamalek last Saturday, but I am almost certain that there won’t be anybody in the medical room because everybody wants to be selected for the Soweto Derby and take part in probably the biggest sporting event in South Africa,” De Sa said.

The coach said he hoped the club fans got their money’s worth on Saturday.

“To watch Chiefs and Pirates supporters walking into the ground together, sitting next to each other and celebrating irrespective of the result, it’s a massive experience.

“When you have coached in The Derby, and I’ve had the fantastic pleasure of doing so, it’s a great day, it’s a massive day and it’s very enjoyable and I just hope that we can continue with our form and football will be the winner.

“I think both teams are playing good football, so I think it’s going to be a cracker,” De Sa added.

Meanwhile, if the recent history of Orlando Pirates chairman Dr. Irvin Khoza and the club’s coaches can be anything to go by, then it is probably a miracle that Roger De Sa still found himself occupying the hot seat at the start of the 2013/14 season.

Pirates — who have won six domestic cup competitions between 2010 and 2012 — have also hired and fired two coaches (and appointed a caretaker coach) during the same period.

Dutch coach Ruud Krol and Brazilian mentor Julio Leal — architects of Pirates’ historic “double treble” triumphs — were both allegedly shown the door by the “Iron Duke” for failing to transform the Bucs into an “entertaining” unit that plays with “flair”.

It is against such a background of such events that De Sa was widely expected to be shown the door before the beginning of the season. After all, unlike Krol and Leal, De Sa had failed to win any domestic silverware by the end of last season.

But Khoza did not pull the trigger this time and this decision is now paying off — De Sa is excelling where his predecessors have failed — the CAF Champions League.

Last Saturday’s 4–1 demolition of Egyptian side Zamalek makes Pirates the favourites to progress to the semi-finals of the lucrative continental competition.

“I have never been insecure about my abilities as a coach. Rumours will always be there and this is all a part of football. As I have said before, injuries affected the team when I took over.

“I took over a team that I had not assembled and these are some of the things that you have to cope with as a coach,” De Sa said.

“I am proud of our achievements in the CAF champions League and we have shown that we have the ability to progress to the semi-finals.”

“We worked hard and thoroughly deserved to win against Zamalek. We deserve to enjoy this moment but there will be a lot of hard work ahead as we prepare for our next fixtures in the domestic League,” De Sa said.