Orlando Pirates assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi was all smiles to see the club capture the signing of Makhehleni Makhaula, adding that the powerful midfielder’s capture is a good addition in the side.
Makhaula was snapped up by Pirates from AmaZulu just before the January transfer window was closed after he signed a pre-contract with them to join them in July.
However, AmaZulu, having learned this, informed Makhaula’s agent to be sold now, rather than lose him for free at the end of the season.
Pirates, knowing they were going to pay less and fight for the CAF club competitions spot, jumped at the opportunity to sign him, confirming that the deal was one and a half seasons.
The tough-tackling midfielder made his official debut for Pirates this past weekend when they beat All Stars in the Nedbank Cup Last-32 at Bidvest Wits, replacing Miguel Timm later in the second half.
When he replaced Timm in the 85th minute, Pirates were already two goals to the good, as Monnape Saleng and Thembinkosi Lorch scored the goals in the 62 and 71 minutes to all but book their spot in the round.
As Pirates were home and dry then, this was a perfect time to give Makhaula a run when there was no pressure, to feel what it is like to play for one of the most supported clubs in the country.
“Makhaula is a seasoned campaigner, good player. You cannot judge him today – his record speaks volumes,” said Ncikazi to iDiski times.
“He will just have to wait for his opportunity and he will be a good addition to the team.”
Makhaula, unlike many other players at Pirates, won the Ke Yona Cup with Free State Stars in the 2017/18 season.
Pirates will know who they will face in the next stage of this competition on Wednesday when this competition’s draw of the last 16 takes place at night (18:00).
In the meantime, the Soweto giants host Maritzburg United at Orlando Stadium on Friday (19:30), before visiting Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto Derby on the 25 February.