Lekgwathi: Red is Lucky for Bucs

Lucky Lekgwathi of Orlando Pirates. (Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images)

Lucky Lekgwathi of Orlando Pirates. (Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images)

Lucky Lekgwathi laughs when he recollects the reaction Orlando Pirates faced after losing to CS Sfaxien in the semifinals of the 2006 Caf Champions League in the Buccaneers’ first match wearing the red strip.

“Some said the jersey was cursed and that we shouldn’t wear it again,” Lekgwathi said. “But they warmed to it and when you go to our matches now, you find the red jersey is more dominant than the black or white one.”

The Buccaneers will wear that now familiar red strip on Sunday night when they face the Tunisian side in their third Group B match in the Caf Confederation Cup while Sfaxien wear their black and white strip. The Buccaneers need a win to keep a tight leash on second spot, three points behind first placed Zamalek.

Lekgwathi, who turns 39 on August 1, might not be in the matchday 18 which leaves for Tunisia tonight, but as the only surviving player of the class of 2006, he brought some valuable insight to the side. Assistant coach Tebogo Moloi and Williams Okpara, now part of the technical team, are the only other survivors.

“For me being at Pirates isn’t all about playing,” Lekgwathi said. “I am there to share my experience with the other players, especially the young players because there isn’t anyone at the club who knows our culture better than me.

“Some of the guys were shocked when I told them I was there when we played against Sfaxien in 2006. They asked me how it was. There is nothing that gives me greater joy than when the young and new players come to me for advice. It shows I have something to offer to the team.

“I remember how we dominated Sfaxien in Tunisia. We were eventually eliminated because they took their only chance and won 1-0 after the first leg in South Africa ended 0-0.

“We must take our chances to keep our dreams of winning the only trophy Pirates haven’t won.”

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