Youngster admits to being nervous during Pirates debut 

Orlando Pirates midfielder Azola Tshobeni in action for the Buccaneers in his debut match against Maritzburg United. Picture: Orlando Pirates website.

“I am pleased with my debut. But more importantly, I am happy for the maximum points that we got on the day,”

Despite having played quite well during his debut for Orlando Pirates, Azola Tshobeni reveals that the nerves kicked in during the early moments of their game against Maritzburg United last weekend.

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The 18-year old started in central midfield for the Buccaneers as they went on to record a 1-0 DStv Premiership win against the Team of Choice at the Harry Gwala Stadium.

Tshobeni, however, says his teammates helped him to settle down and play.

“When the whistle sounded at the start of the match, I was nervous. Even though the stadium was empty I knew everyone was watching from all corners of the country. It was nerve-wracking at first, but I would like to thank my teammates for helping me settle. Their words of encouragement throughout the match helped me to play my football,” Tshobeni was quoted as saying on the club’s website.

“I am pleased with my debut. But more importantly, I am happy for the maximum points that we got on the day.”

Since graduating to the senior team, Tshobeni adds that his family has been highly anticipating to don the black and white jersey of the Soweto club.

“In terms of personal accolades, this is indeed a day to cherish for me and my family. Everyone has been waiting for my debut since my promotion to the Orlando Pirates first team. I am still in disbelief as I did not expect to make my debut so soon and not only that but to debut as a starter makes this occasion that more special.”

Tshobeni’s rise to the first team was promoted by leading the Bucs Under-17 team to the Gauteng Future Championship title, before traveling to England with the Project X squad, where they played the likes of Manchester United, Fulham and West Ham. He was also part of the reserve team playing in the Diski Challenge.

The youngster will be hoping to make his second appearance for the club when Bucs host TS Galaxy at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday.

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