‘I never expected that’: Maswanganyi opens up on early days at Orlando Pirates

Lifting the lid on his early days at Orlando Pirates, midfielder Patrick Maswanganyi discusses what he found unexpected.

Maswanganyi joined the Buccaneers at the beginning of the season from SuperSport United. He was quick to make his mark banging goals in the club’s pre-season tour in Spain.

The 26-year-old would go on and become the club’s mainstay as the season went on. His presence was felt in all 40 matches he played in all competitions, where he scored 10 goals and registered 12 assists.

DStv Premiership Players' Player of the Season: Patrick Maswanganyi

WHAT CAUGHT PATRICK MASWANGANYI BY SURPRISE?

Maswanganyi has admitted that he never expected to be a regular starter this season. He envisioned his debut campaign with the Buccaneers being more about making a positive impression during limited playing time.

“I think, for me, when I arrived here, even though the pre-season in Spain was good – I didn't think I would be someone that is starting games an Orlando Pirates,” said Maswanganyi as quoted by Kick Off.

“I didn't expect that there would be a time when I'm starting games. For me, this season I had told myself that I would push just to be in the team, to get in some minutes, but through hard work and dedication, l'm able to start games.”

However, Maswanganyi has made it clear that he doesn't want to be a benchwarmer or get substituted.

“Now I'm at a space where I don't want to be on the bench, I don't want to be taken off, I want to be constantly playing. I want to make sure I'm dedicated and I continue progressing,” he added.

WINNING BIG AT PSL AWARDS 

Maswanganyi emerged as one of the biggest winners at the 2024 PSL awards ceremony on Sunday evening, claiming a remarkable three accolades. 

His impressive performances throughout the Nedbank Cup earned him Player of the Tournament honors. He was also a key factor in the Sea Robbers' victory over Mamelodi Sundowns in the final.

He went on to scoop the DStv Premiership Midfielder of the Season award, a testament to his central midfield brilliance throughout the league campaign. He orchestrated Pirates' play and consistently created scoring opportunities.

One of the main awards of the night – DStv Premiership Player’s Player of the Season was also bestowed upon him. 

Maswanganyi also seems to have earned the admiration of Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos who gave him his first senior call-up this year.

He represented the country in the friendly matches against Andorra and Algeria in March. Despite not playing, he was also part of the squad that played FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

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Nkosiyabuya Sithole

Nkosiyabuya Sithole, a young and rising sports journalist based in Durban, South Africa, harbors a deep passion for football. Nevertheless, he aspires to become a well-rounded journalist, adept in various areas of the field.

Nkosi's career began in 2020, working as a home-based writer during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has since written for various websites, including Briefly News, FiND-iT News, and The South African. Attending live sporting events is a particular pleasure for him, as they provide opportunities for interaction with sports personalities.

Outside of the office, he's a God-fearing and affable young man.