Orlando Pirates legend attributes Relebohile Mofokeng’s rise to Mamelodi Sundowns star’s exit

The former Bucs defender is delighted that Rele grabbed his chance when it was present to him

Orlando Pirates legend Lucky Lekgwathi feels Relebohile Mofokeng is the biggest beneficiary of Thembinkosi Lorch’s departure from the club.

Lorch ended his eight-year spell at Pirates in January when he switched to PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns but his departure has not really been felt as Mofokeng stepped up to the plate with dazzling performances that saw him end the season with five goals and six assists.

The youngster has been growing in confidence and scored a beauty to win the Nedbank Cup final for Pirates against Sundowns with his stock rising, he is now being urged to make a move abroad by some fans and pundits.

Lekgwathi is one of those delighted by the 19-year-old’s rise as he believes his talent would not have blossomed had veteran Lorch still been at the club, terming his departure a blessing for Mofokeng.

‘When Lorch left, Rele started being a regular and started to perform’

“I always tell people that Pirates is not a one-man team, look at after Lorch left, people were like oh Lorch, Lorch, Lorch,” said Lekgwathi, as per FARPost.

“And I told people that if you’re a player, you compete with someone and he leaves the team, you must make sure that you continue where he left.

“This is what I said to them, I said Lorch is creating a space for Rele and people were like, ‘Ah Lucky!’.

“The boy was coming in and people were like, ‘father and son, Lorch and Rele’. So, Rele there are things that he learnt from Lorch.

“When Lorch left, Rele started being a regular and started to perform.”

Mofokeng’s future is still up in the air with reported interest from broad

Mofokeng’s good performances for Pirates have thrust him into the limelight and earned him his maiden Bafana Bafana call-up for the World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

He received his first cap against the Warriors when he came on as a late substitute after South Africa had already wrapped up a 3-1 victory.

The teenage sensation’s future is, however, still up in the air as he has been linked to a move overseas although some observers, such as Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos, have warned him against rushing to leave Pirates.

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Joel Oliver

Joel Oliver is a seasoned multimedia sports journalist with a rich background in covering diverse football stories and events in South Africa and beyond.

His extensive coverage spans subjects touching on the PSL, with a focus on the Big Three (Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs & Mamelodi Sundowns), Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana.