Lorch will 'give his best for Sundowns' if he debuts against Pirates

15 February 2024 - 18:55
By Sithembiso Dindi
Mamelodi Sundowns player Thembinkosi Lorch during the media day at Chloorkop in Kempton Park on Thursday.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix Mamelodi Sundowns player Thembinkosi Lorch during the media day at Chloorkop in Kempton Park on Thursday.

Mamelodi Sundowns' new star Thembinkosi Lorch says playing a role in an attempt to orchestrate Orlando Pirates’ downfall this weekend would be difficult for him, but that can be the life of a footballer.   

Lorch, who made a last-minute switch from Bucs to Downs on the transfer deadline day last month, could make his Brazilians debut against his former club in Saturday's DStv Premiership clash at Loftus Stadium (8pm).    

Lorch knew he would leave Pirates some day, but Saturday’s scenario of making his debut for a new and strong rival club against the Soweto giants was something he probably could not have seen coming.   

The player, who was convicted and received a suspended sentence in November for abusing his former girlfriend, could have made his debut against Golden Arrows on Tuesday. The midweek Premiership league fixtures were postponed as Bafana Bafana, made up of 20 local-based players, arrived back in the country on Wednesday morning from the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).   

The 30-year-old player faced the media for the first time since his move to the six-time successive league champions.    

“It’s difficult to play my first game, especially against my former team, but we know it’s life and we need to move on,” Lorch said. “I’m hoping I will start at the weekend and do my best for my team.”   

With Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena having said the players who helped Bafana to the Afcon bronze medal in Ivory Coast will not available for the match, the chances of Lorch featuring against Pirates seem high.   

Mokwena said some of Sundowns' 10 Bafana stars are battling injuries, including goalkeeper Ronwen Williams and Thapelo Maseko. He said most of the Downs' signings are ready to take to the field, except for Argentine Matias Esquivel, who has found acclimatising a challenge.   

Sundowns made four signings during the January transfer window, bringing in Esquivel, Zuko Mdunyelwa, Tashreeq Matthews and Lorch.    

“The team has welcomed me well, the spirit is amazing,” Lorch said.   

“Every player wants to play at the weekend because we are playing against Pirates, who are a big team and it’s a big game. It's up to the coach [whether Lorch plays].”   

The former Bafana Bafana player, who spent eight years at Pirates, has saluted his former club and its chair, Irvin Khoza, for the chance he received at the Buccaneers.   

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my former team Orlando Pirates, especially Dr Irvin Khoza, for giving me the opportunity to play for a team like Orlando Pirates.   

“I remember I signed there when I was 22 and left at 30. So, I’m grateful for the opportunity he [Khoza] gave me. Pirates will always have a special place in my heart.”   

Pirates also had players with Bafana, with Nkosinathi Sibisi, Thabang Monare, Zakhele Lepasa and Evidence Makgopa doing duty in Ivory Coast.   

Bucs have signed Thabiso Lebitso and Thalente Mbatha in the transfer window and welcomed back striker Tshegofatsho Mabasa, who was on loan to Moroka Swallows.