local soccer 4.6.2015 09:38 am

No time for Tinkler to reminisce

Eric Tinkler of Orlando Pirates. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Eric Tinkler of Orlando Pirates. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

There will be no time for Eric Tinkler to reminisce about his days in Milpark when he walks into Bidvest Stadium on Saturday for the first time since 2012 as the home team coach.

That’s because the mentor is still looking to prolong his days in Soweto as Orlando Pirates coach after the club’s chairman Irvin Khoza confirmed that he will start the 2015/16 season at the helm of the club, but with no certainty until when.

Next season could start with Tinkler having reached his first milestone as the Buccaneers’ coach, guiding the club to the Caf Confederation group stage. To do that they have to seal the deal in Milpark when they host Guinea’s AS Kaloum with a 2-0 lead they picked in the visitors alternative venue in Mali because of the Ebola virus.

Tinkler will have to do some reshuffling of the team that played in the opening leg win with Siyabonga Sangweni and Mpho Makola suspended for the tie. That could open door for Ayanda Gcaba to start at centreback whith Lehlohonolo Masalesa or Thabo Rakhale slotting into the midfield.

“We are experienced enough to know that we cannot look too much into the first leg result because that could lead to the players being complacent,” Tinkler told the club’s website.

As things stand, Pirates would be grouped with CS Sfaxien of Tunisia, SM Sanga Balende from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo’s AC Leopards who all won their first leg encounters against Asec Mimosas, Zamalek and Warri Wolves.

But only Leopards, who have put daylight between themselves and Wolves with a 3-0 victory, while Sfaxien beat Asec 2-0 and Balende narrowly defeated Egyptian giants Zamalek 1-0.

Pirates need to win this tournament if they are to return to continental football next year, having finished outside the top three in the Absa Premiership.

Will Bucs beat Kaloum and reach the CAF Confederation Cup group stages? Have your say in the comment box below!

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