29 October, 2022
Being involved in the Soweto Derby is a dream for many South African footballers, and Orlando Pirates midfielder Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo is hoping his presence at FNB Stadium on Saturday will count favourably for his team.
The Buccaneers have gone three league derbies since they last beat Kaizer Chiefs in the iconic fixture, a record both player and supporter will be fully aware of going into the clash.
It’s an unwanted streak that places them as underdogs in the much-awaited clash, especially given the nature of the rivalry, where recent form often counts for little once the battle lines are drawn.
With this particular Derby taking place a little over a month since the conclusion of the last transfer window, Ndlondlo heads into the fixture as one of several players set to get their first taste of the South African football calendar’s biggest fixture.
In an exclusive chat with Orlandopiratesfc.com, the player revealed what the prospect of lining up for the Buccaneers against Amakhosi meant to him.
“It is something that I have dreamt of,” he said.
“There’s a special feeling about the Derby, and I really can’t wait to be involved. Really looking forward to it.”
While a new season represents a new slate for all involved, the magnitude of the Soweto Derby makes it difficult for past results to not factor in the conversations leading into the big game.
The Bucs camp will be fully aware of the fact that they have not triumphed over their rivals in well over a year, and their three attempts since have all ended in defeat.
According to Ndlondlo, Pirates’ recent record in the fixture has not dominated the talk in the build-up to Saturday afternoon.
“It’s not something we have paid that much attention to,” he revealed.
“We are aware of it, but hopefully I can be one of the players who help in changing that stat.
“It’s important that we do well because we need to remind ourselves that we’ve been having a good run, and we need to continue with it.
“We may be building up to a cup final, but that’s not what we’re focusing on right now. We’re only focusing on tomorrow’s game for now, and we just want to win and continue performing well.”
The sold-out affair gets underway at 15:30 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport PSL and SABC Sport.