20 March, 2021 |
One of the mainstays in the Bucs' first XI in recent months is midfielder Fortune Makaringe, who has pretty much made a starting place his own in his second season at the Club.
The 27-year-old has appeared in all 20 league games so far, only failing to make the starting lineup just once all season.
He is in line to feature once more in the biggest game of the South African sporting calendar, the Soweto Derby against rivals Kaizer Chiefs.
The fixture comes in a gruelling week, where the Buccaneers have had to overcome another African giant in Nigerian outfit, Enyimba in midweek.
Having been part of the team that scaled what was a steep mountain - registering a dramatic 2-1 win - Makaringe believes that the confidence earned from the weekend could bode well for the weekend.
"It (the win against Enyimba) is definitely a confidence builder. I mean, at this stage of the season, you have to take each positive you can get, whether big or small," the player told Orlandopiratesfc.com in an exclusive interview.
While relatively new at the Club, Makaringe has been ever-present whenever the Buccaneers have lined up against their fierce rivals.
The upcoming derby - the 100th in the league - will be his seventh appearance against Amakhosi, should he take to the field on Sunday.
He describes the fixture, which draws an audience in the millions as a special occasion.
"It's a very special fixture," Makaringe added. "It's always a big occasion. When you step to the field, you do so knowing that the pride of the Club is at stake. It's truly something special."
With Pirates currently enjoying a good run against Chiefs, where they have won all three of their encounters this season, Makaringe believes the unique nature of the Derby means that past results could have little bearing on what ensues on the field.
"In a Derby, it matters not how you've been performing," he said. It's all about what you do on the day. We just need to make sure that we do the job on the day. It's about focusing on the job at hand, and not dwell on what you've done in the past.
"So, we need to be as professional as possible, and make sure that we fight for the Buccaneers, and fight for the badge."
Sunday's game kicks off at 15:00.