Ghana international keeper among the four stars released by Orlando Pirates

The Sea Robbers have opted not to extend the contracts of the four players after its expiry on June 30.

A busy transfer season is expected at Orlando Pirates after the Soweto giants confirmed a release of another four players.

Richard Ofori, Siyabonga Mpontshane, Kermit Erasmus and Thabang Monare are the latest players to be let go just a couple of days after the exit of Fortune Makaringe and Souaibou Marou.

The four players did not have much to do in the concluded season – after being sidelined by coach Jose Riveiro, as the club successfully defended their MTN8 and Nedbank Cup titles. For the second time in a row, the Sea Robbers finished behind Mamelodi Sundowns in the Premier Soccer League, meaning they will be playing in the Caf Champions League in the forthcoming campaign.

Why the release? Disappointing Ofori failed to impress

The Ghanaian shot-stopper has not been consistent at the club level despite his potential and qualities.

He is prone to making costly mistakes in crucial games, and as a result he dropped to become just the club’s third choice keeper.

The signing of Melusi Buthelezi from TS Galaxy at the beginning of the season further lessened the Ofori’s chances with the Sea Robbers.

In the 58 games played since 2020, across all competitions, Ofori managed to keep clean sheets.

Richard Ofori, Ghana

Mpontshane – Was the age catching up with the veteran keeper?

The 38-year-old Siyabonga Mpontshane has been with Bucs for the last nine years making him the longest-serving player at the club.

However, he did not get enough matches since he was seen as a back-up. In the 2021/22 campaign, the former Platinum Stars keeper was the club’s first choice. In the following campaign, he lost his place due to inconsistencies.

He was one of the respected members of the squad which contributed to his lengthened period with the club.

Mbatha’s rise to blame for Monare’s exit? The SuperSport United loanee has done just enough

Thabang Monare quickly established himself at Bucs after joining the team from Bidvest Wits at the beginning of the 2021/22 season.

The past few months have not been good for the 34-year-old who has endured several injuries that have kept him out of action.

It explains why Riveiro went for the services of Thalente Mbatha in an initial six-month loan contract with an option to make the deal permanent. Mbatha excelled in his role and Monare became surplus to requirements and the club had no option but to let the latter leave.

Monare leaves Pirates with his head high above the shoulders after making 93 appearances across all competitions.

Kermit Erasmus

Erasmus – Did Bucs make a mistake by resigning the attacker?

His initial stint with Pirates – from 2013 to 2016, was successful, explaining why Rennes came for his services.

After a couple of years abroad, he returned to South Africa and eventually joined Mamelodi Sundowns where he played for two years. He did not have a desired impact owing to recurring injuries.

Despite his unfavourable medical record, Bucs signed him in 2022, but as fate may have it, the 33-year-old has spent more time with the doctor than on the pitch.

Coach Riveiro is definitely looking for replacements who can help the team push for the PSL title next season.

Ghana international keeper among the four stars released by Orlando Pirates
Willis Sob

Willis Sob is an experienced journalist who has been in the game since 2009, covering major assignments around the continent.
His hunger for African football is unmatched, always getting the best angles and facts to feed the fans and quench their thirst.