Manti Moholo - Fact File

Moholo Refusing To Rule Out A Return Move To Pirates

When Manti Moholo was signed by Orlando Pirates from Free State Stars in the 2012/2013 season, he saw it as an opportunity to knock on the Bafana Bafana door. However, he first spent half of last season on loan at Golden Arrows and upon his return to the Bucs was sent out to Chippa United, again on loan. What does this mean for his future with the Soweto giants? He reveals all.

Personal Information
Full names: Manti Molemo Moholo
Date of birth: 31 August 1985
Place of birth: Diepkloof, Gauteng
Nickname: Stew
Position: Midfielder
Jersey no: 5
Club: Chippa United
Previous Clubs: Orlando Pirates Juniors, SuperSport Utd juniors, TUT FC, Cemforce Bakgat Boys, SuperSport United, University of Pretoria, Free State Stars, Orlando Pirates

Honours: 2013 MTN8 runner-up, 2013/14 Telkom Knockout runner-up, 2013 CAF Champions league runner-up (all with Pirates).

Hola Stew, how have you been finding things at the Chilli boys?
The players and technical team have been great and extremely nice. I have fitted in very well, but my aim is to get regular game time this season. Obviously the Chippa players from Pirates are quality players. I know that they didn’t play enough and the way I see it, they are hungry for success. It’s not to say they have a point to prove, but the guys want to play because they have been in the professional set up for a long time and want to finally make a mark.

It’s your second loan move from Bucs. What’s the thinking behind that?
Obviously I’m not getting any younger, so at my age I need to be getting more game time. This is not to say I was not going to get game time at Pirates. The things is, the person who made the move happen is the chairman (Irvin Khoza). I would like to thank him because he wants me to play. He’s the one who told me. He wants me to play…

So he believed you were not going to play at Pirates this season?
Not really. When I returned from my loan spell with Golden Arrows, there was a new coach, but I didn’t have a problem with him and he didn’t a problem with me. Everything was okay and the coach told me that I was in his plans. There was no bad blood between us. But Like I said, the club wants me to go and get more game time and experience elsewhere. For example, maybe at Pirates I would have played 18 games, but at Chippa I might get 30 games.

Do you still see a future for yourself at Pirates?
Yes, definitely, I still have a future with Bucs. The Chairman’s words gave me confidence that I’m still part of Orlando Pirates. He believes in me, but obviously people don’t know that.

We have seen in the past how teams that are promoted do well against the bigger clubs and often perform poorly against the smallest sides. Obviously it’s something you want to avoid.
I think that’s why Chippa recruited players like me, Bheki Nzunga and other PSL experience. We are from a big team like Pirates. Coming to your question, I think we must play our role and not be complacent. You are right, that thing of winning against big teams and then losing against smaller teams happens in South Africa. It’s like a fluke. We must stay grounded. This is a team and it’s not all about me, but we as the senior players will talk to the guys and tell them we are not here to lose games. We want to win. I played for Arrows last season and I want to take my experience from there and bring it here. We don’t want to be one game wonders. Most of the points in the league come from the small teams.

You had a disappointing spell with Pirates since joining from Free State Stars.
You know what? I’m going to be honest with you, when I came to Pirates, Augusto Palacious was the coach and everything was really good. The coach believed in me and I think I did well under him, until I was injured. That was the turning point of my career at Pirates. My confidence was growing, I was getting used to the fans, I was getting used to the pressure associated with the club and I was willing to sacrifice anything. It was unfortunate that when Roger De Sa came in on his first day I was injured at training. That was the time we were going to play Platinum Stars and as I remember correctly, I was supposed to start that day. You know Pirates is a quality team with quality players. When players get their chance, they grab them.

In football and in life, you will face a lot of challenges. I learnt a lot during my time there, but I will come back.

Thanks Manti and best of luck this season.
Thank you man.