Lorch was a huge loss, but it's time to move on: Tapelo Xoki

Lorch was a huge loss, but it's time to move on: Tapelo Xoki

Orlando Pirates captain Thapelo Xoki says the departure of the club’s former star player Thembinkosi Lorch is a big loss to the team, but now it’s time to move on.

Xoki, was reacting to questions about Lorch’s move to dominant Dstv Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns, after he was transferred from Pirates on the last day of the transfer window last month.

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Lorch had been rarely available for the Bucs in the past few seasons due to injuries and other off-the-field issues but when in action, they were a different team.

 Xoki says it’s time for the Soweto giants to move on.

''It was a big loss to everyone at the club, but we had to take it on the chin, it's football - such things happen. Every transfer window allows for such moves to happen.

“He did well for the club and we wish him well. Now we have to make sure we move on from it as quickly as possible to focus on our upcoming fixtures,'' said Xoki.

As Lorch departed, on-loan striker Tshegofatso Mabasa returned home from an administratively and financially troubled Moroka Swallows last month.

Mabasa announced his return with a goal in the Nedbank Cup this past weekend during the 6-0 demolition of fourth-side Crystal Lake FC.

That takes Mabasa’s tally to six goals in all competitions this season and Xoki does not doubt that he is going to be key for Pirates in the second round.

''He's a striker of a high calibre. We are happy to have him, and he's scoring goals at training. 

''It is not going to be easy because the competition is tough, but with hard and perseverance - he will get his chances and help us win games,'' added Xoki

The former AmaZulu captain is also an asset to the Bucs team, not only as a leader or defender but as a dead-ball specialist as well.

Xoki, is one of the best penalty-takers in the PSL and he scored a brace this past weekend and hopes to continue being clinical during set-plays.

''We have really not done well in terms of converting but in terms of creating chances - we are amongst the best. 

''We just need to convert the chances, we are happy that over the weekend we managed to score three goals from set-pieces, which is a positive we are taking into the upcoming games,'' he concluded.

Pirates have been drawn against yet another lower division side in the Motsepe Foundation Championship team Hungry Lions from Northern Cape.

Pirates beat two National First Division (NFD) sides All Stars FC and Venda Academy as well as ABC Motsepe League side Dondol Stars on their way to clinching last year’s trophy beating Kaizer Chiefs and Sekhukhune United as well.

Xoki stated that it’s impossible to underestimate lower-division teams these days.