On-loan Orlando Pirates midfielder Thalente Mbatha has opened up on his future following a successful first season with the Soweto-based club. Mbatha’s spell at Pirates is set to expire on June 30.

His impressive performance in Saturday’s Nedbank Cup final which the Soweto giants won 2-1 against Mamelodi Sundowns earned him the Man of the Match award.

Mbatha who joined Pirates on loan from SuperSport United in January has been an integral part of the Buccaneers’ set-up which finished second on the DStv Premiership table and will partake in the upcoming CAF Champions League. The 24-year-old midfielder featured in 21 matches, scored once and provided two assists in all competitions since joining Jose Riveiros’s side.

The Durban-born player expressed his delight for donning the Nedbank Cup champion’s jersey as well as understanding his role in the club including his pairing with 34-year-old Makhehleni Makhaula in the middle adding that he has to work hard as the younger one of the two, he has more stamina and pace.

“My role in the midfield is to work hard. I’m the youngest, so I must have more legs than Makhaula. I have more pace than him, so I can also cover him. It becomes difficult to break us cos we both work hard. We also have the freedom to interchange in going forward or staying”

The pairing of Mbatha and Makhaula has been the pillar of the Pirates’ midfield and has been paying off as teams were finding it hard to break into their defence and score. The Sea Robbers have the option to extend his contract similar to Makhaula who has been tied down for another season.

“My loan at Pirates from Supersport will end now. But I’m happy at Pirates cos I can win Cups and play Cup finals. I must now sit down with my agent and tell him of the things I want to achieve, and already, I’ve started achieving those things” Mbatha concluded.

Written by Siphesihle Soni