Iconic former Orlando Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi is still barking orders, six years after he hung up his boots, proving that once a captain, always a captain.
The most successful Bucs skipper has ordered the class of 2022 to bring back the MTN8 trophy and the R8 million winners cheque, when they take on AmaZulu in the final at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
“Orlando Pirates is a history making club, and the boys know this for a fact. It’s a chance for them to write their own history at this great club. I believe they did the hard work in the semifinal when they beat Mamelodi Sundowns. That to me was the final before the final. I have no doubt whatsoever that the MTN8 cup is coming home,” he said.
Affectionately known as ‘Captain my Captain’ among the legions of Bucs fans, Lekgwathi guided the Ghosts to an incredible six trophies in two seasons – 2010/2011 and 2011/12 – that included back to back MTN8 silverware.
One of the much loved defender’s highlights during his 14-year stay at Pirates, was when he buried the winning penalty in the 2010 MTN8 final against Moroka Swallows, ironically at Moses Mabhida Stadium, which of course is the venue for the final again.
“That win brings back a lot of memories because of what my team mates said to me as I walked to the penalty spot. They told me to remember that it was an R8 million kick and I thundered it in. Trophies are nice but we must not forget that this cup has plenty money for the winners. The boys must therefore work extra hard,” said the 46-year-old.
He urged senior players to lead from the front, not just on Saturday but throughout the week.
“The loss against Kaizer Chiefs is in the past. What is important is for senior players to help the younger players focus on the big game on Saturday at every training session this week. They must also prepare by playing the final a 100 times in their minds this week. Seniors must take this responsibility,” he said.
The veteran defender also had some words of wisdom for 36-year-old goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane who was caught out by a Yusuf Maart stunner in the 1-0 loss to Kaizer Chiefs at the weekend. “I believe he is a talented goalkeeper. He must focus on the final because these things happen in football. In fact, I believe Mponstahane will play the game of his life if given a chance on Saturday,” said the Bucs former skipper.