‘It’s more than just the badge’: Ncikazi tells triumphant Pirates

Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi has told his troops that they are not only representing South Africa but ‘millions of internationals’.

The Soweto giants are home to Nigeria’s Olisa, Ndah, the Ghanaian duo of Richard Ofori and Kwame Peprah, Dean Hotto from Namibia, Zimbabwean international Terrence Dzvukamanja and Malawi’s Gabadinho Mhango.

Ncikazi, an advocate for African unity, believes that because of their presence at the club, Pirates have an appeal in their respective countries.

Pirates booked a place in the semifinal of the Caf Confederations Cup for the first time since 2015, edging Tanzanian giants Simba 4-3 on penalties in the second leg at Orlando Stadium on Sunday night. The game had ended 1-0 (1-all on aggregate) as Simba on the first leg 1-0 at home.

“Let me thank the Pirates supporters. They gave our players the necessary support. We needed that,” said Ncikazi.

“I want to thank the players for their effort. If Pirates can be like this, not only represent South Africa which is what we told them.

“They’re also not only representing the badge. It was Pirates, South Africans and all millions of internationals that we have in our team. The Nigerians that we have, the Ghanaians, the Namibians, and the Zimbabweans, and that is the pride that I have.

“And the patience from management. We’re heading in the right direction; let’s take it from there,” concluded Ncikazi.

Pirates will tackle Al Ahli Tripoli in the first seminal clash, while TP Mazembe will face RB Berkane.

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