'I want to show fans I deserve to play for Orlando Pirates,' says Norodien
The African Nations Championship (Chan) often flies below the radar but Orlando Pirates midfielder Riyaad Norodien is using Bafana Bafana's two-legged qualifier against Botswana as preparation for the coming season.
Bafana depart for Francistown on Thursday to take on the Zebras in the first leg on Saturday with Norodien as one of the key players for coach Stuart Baxter.
“This is a step I needed because last season was not good for me with too many downs‚" he said before their training session at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Wednesday.
"I am grateful to coach Baxter for showing confidence in me and I want to reward him with a good performance in the two matches and also do the country proud.
"I was supposed to be on a break after taking part in the Cosafa Cup but I would rather be here and getting more game time.
"This opportunity will make me more hungrier when I go back to my club so that I can perform to the level required at Pirates and show the fans that I deserve to play for the club.”
Pirates ended last season empty-handed and Norodien said they must correct their shortcomings so that they can emerge stronger and give their fans something to smile about.
“We just need to relook certain things that went wrong last season and try to make the coming campaign better.
"Everybody is mocking Pirates and they are saying that we are a small club because we are not wining anything at the moment.
"But we must do everything in our power to make the team successful again.
"We must stand together as a team and correct our mistakes and regain the trust of the supporters.”
Norodien added that the tournament is important to all the players in the squad as it gives them the opportunity to get used to coach Stuart Baxter and his methods.
“It is a great opportunity for the younger lads in the squad to get experience of working with coach Stuart Baxter.
"For myself‚ it is good to be here to learn so that I am ready whenever a call-up arrives for bigger tournaments in the future.
"If I get minutes like this‚ it will go a long way in helping me to help the team (Pirates) next season. “