Pirates reserves coach content despite missing DDC title

Orlando Pirates reserve team coach Mandla Qhogi has reflected on this past season’s DStv Diski Challenge (DDC), after the club missed out on the league title.

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The young Buccaneers began the campaign very strongly, with the side displaying some dominant performances, keeping the team at the top of the league standings for some time.

But, in the later stages of the campaign, the Pirates reserves took their foot off the pedal as they let Stellenbosch FC overtake them. Stellies ended up winning the league, while Bucs ended up finishing in third place.

Despite the disappointment of not winning the title, Qhogi believes his team played very well and they will be looking to make up for missing out during the upcoming season.

“The season was a long one – it’s the first to … finish after 30 games. We think the season was positive, and yes (with) the disappointment for not finishing the season as winners after such a great run we had.

“I am sure we did our best to raise the Orlando Pirates flag and the badge high. We also raised the bar for ourselves – in the coming season we need to finish higher than where we finished in 2021/22 season,” said the Bucs reserves mentor.

Another positive Qhogi takes from the past DDC season is seeing a number of his youngsters raising their hand to be promoted to the senior team, just as Boitumelo Radiopane, Thabiso Monyane and many more have done in the past.

He will now be looking to steer his troops to victory when they play in the DDC Shield Cup next month, where the top eight teams in last season’s DDC will battle it out for the trophy.

“It was a season where we saw some new and old players raising their hands for possible promotion or close monitoring from senior team. In all that, we have to pick up our heads and start looking forward to the Shield Cup that will resume around July, to make up for the loss of the league.”