Defender Diamond Thopola has expressed his intentions to impress for his new employers Orlando Pirates in the second half of the season.
It’s not easy to settle into a new environment however, Thopola needs only to look across to Thabo Matlaba for motivation. Like Thopola, Matlaba signed midway through the season six years ago from Free State Stars. The 30-year old (then 24) quickly cemented his place as a first team regular that same season and went on to become one of the fastest players to reach 50 official matches for the Club.
Orlandopiratesfc.com sat down with the 27 year-old on Wednesday following Pirates’ 1-0 win against Highlands Park in a friendly match played at the Orlando Stadium.
“I am settling in very well at the team,” he revealed. “Coach Micho and his technical staff have been very supportive. I am quickly learning to understand my new environment which involves learning the culture of the club and also getting to understand my coaches and getting to know my teammates better.”
The Limpopo born defender also expressed his delight at making a full recovery following a lengthy lay off in the first half of the 2017/18 season.
“As a player you always want to be on the field of play. I suffered an injury which kept me out of action for a couple of games at my previous club but I am happy to have made a full recovery. I am ready to fight for my place but I am well aware that it will not be easy.”
Encouraged by the competition, Thopola says he is looking forward to the challenge to fight for the right back berth.
“When you come to a big club like Orlando Pirates you need to prepare yourself to fight for your position. It is a common thing you find at all big clubs and this is something I prepared myself for before joining. I know it won’t be easy but I am ready to contribute in any way possible.”