Shandu relishing Pirates leadership role

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Thabiso Monyane of Orlando Pirates and Thabo Matlaba of Royal AM during the MTN8 quarter final match between Royal AM and Orlando Pirates at Chatsworth Stadium on August 27, 2022.
Thabiso Monyane of Orlando Pirates and Thabo Matlaba of Royal AM during the MTN8 quarter final match between Royal AM and Orlando Pirates at Chatsworth Stadium on August 27, 2022.
Darren Stewart

Orlando Pirates midfielder Bandile Shandu has revealed how he's enjoying a newfound role as mentor to Thabiso Monyane.

Last season, Bandile Shandu started 28 of Orlando Pirates' 30 league matches and racked up an incredible 45 appearances for the Buccaneers across all competitions.

Hoewever, new coach Jose Riveiro has, this season introduced Thabiso Monyane into the mix. 

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Shandu has appeared eight times for Pirates this season, but only started four matches, sharing his role with Monyane.

Despite the reduced game-time, Shandu has insisted that he’s happy to see the youngster feature more often for the Buccaneers.

"I think you can see in the way that Thabiso has been playing, he’s been playing very well," Shandu said.

"He started the season very good. We’ve just been supporting each other and that’s what teamwork is all about and I support him. That’s the main focus. How we push each other because we push each other every single day."

Shandu also revealed that he's enjoying a new found role as mentor to the young star.

"It’s my first time playing that role [mentor] and I’m enjoying it," Shandu said.

"To see him and see what he’s doing right now, is great to see and I hope he continues doing what he’s doing and what works for him. That’s what I always tell him: 'do what’s working for you. Whatever is working right, try and do it consistently,' and that’s the conversation we’re having with him and just happy to see him shine."

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Shandu is expected to continue in the right flank with Monyane understood to have sustained an injury.

The 22-year-old was not named in the Orlando Pirates squad that faced Marumo Gallants, Maritzburg United and TS Galaxy. He last featured for Pirates last month against SuperSport United.

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