Mokwena – we expect big things from Lorch

‘We want to thank his former club (Pirates) for dealing with the transfer with integrity and respect,’ added the Sundowns head coach.

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena has thanked rival club Orlando Pirates for selling them one of their prime assets in Thembinkosi Lorch.

Mokwena reveals that the deal was a difficult one to get over the line but the former PSL Footballer of the Season eventually made a transfer deadline move to Chloorkop.

Despite Lorch being in the twilight of his career, Sundowns still opened their cheaque book to bring on board the 30-year-old dribbling wizard.

“When you have a player like Thembinkosi Lorch that is available on the market and can give you immediate output by helping the team work towards its objectives, of course you have to try and see how possible that is,” Mokwena explained to the club’s media team on the decision to sign Lorch, who turns 31 in July.

“We want to thank his former club for dealing with the transfer with integrity and respect. That’s how we also try to treat every club with respect and integrity. It was not an easy transfer to make but the respect and the cooperation that exists from both clubs allowed it to take place.

“We are delighted to have a player of his stature and magnitude because he comes in with heavy expectations and the pressure to deliver. He is that type of player and big things can be expected from him.”

Making the squad younger

To strengthen their already potent squad during last month’s transfer window, the DStv Premiership champions also signed the trio of relatively younger prospects in Zuko Mdunyelwa and Matias Esquivel who are both 24 years of age while Tashreeq Matthews is still 23.

“We have been very clear with regards to what the club is trying to do in dropping the average age of the squad,” Mokwena said.

“When you look at it from a long-term perspective, we want to have a team that can be able to compete not only in the immediate but have sustained ability to perform and win trophies for an extended period of time.

“That means the age bracket of the players that we try to incorporate in the squad are players that are a little bit younger, players that show incredible potential and who we feel we can work hard on to improve. Hopefully in the next few years, they can give Mamelodi Sundowns a lot of success that is sustained because Zuko, Matias and Tashreeq tick that box.”

Sundowns get their league campaign underway again with back to back encounters against Golden Arrows and Orlando Pirates. They play Abafana Bes’thende next week Wednesday before the titanic clash against the Buccaneers three days later.